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Longer waits compound patients' trauma

PUBLISHED: 03:31 30 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 March 2010

THE trauma for patients whose operations are cancelled, is compounded when they are not given another appointment within a month, worried health bosses have warned.

THE trauma for patients whose operations are cancelled, is compounded when they are not given another appointment within a month, worried health bosses have warned.

As Ipswich Hospital came out of a "red alert" situation yesterday when there were not enough spare beds and operations had to be cancelled, Suffolk Health board members were yesterday discussing how many people needing an operation did not get the service they should at hospitals across the county.

People whose ops are cancelled, should be seen within a month, but latest figures, released this week, show that Ipswich Hospital did not manage to provide this for about 60 patients in the second quarter of this year.

However, that was an improvement on the first quarter, when the figure was about 125.

The hospital also reduced the number of operations cancelled; from about 200 in the first quarter of this year, compared to about 120 in the second quarter.

Suffolk Health chairwoman, Joanna Spicer said: "I get a lot of letters from people who have had their operations cancelled. I had one from someone who was given another appointment for a date about five months ahead."

Mrs Spicer added that she was one of the patients whose operation was cancelled at the last minute.

She said: "Cancelling operations on the day they are scheduled to be done, is a pretty traumatic thing, as I found myself."

There are currently 15,333 patients waiting for inpatient or day case treatment.

Ipswich Hospital has already received a £175,000 one-off bonus for cutting the number of patients waiting for more than 15 months, and has just four to see this week to achieve that.

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