NHS England has announced that it is cancelling all non-urgent surgeries and all outpatients’ appointments for the whole month of January as services are unable to cope. Non-urgent operations had already been cancelled before the turn of the year for part of December, so English NHS patients face around a month and a half with no access to surgery.
The BBC’s health editor Hugh Pym said that the cancellations will result in an 18-month backlog of operations for the NHS to catch up. This means that a similar decision next winter would prevent the NHS catching up for the foreseeable future, in order to mask the extent of the increasing winter crisis.
A&E departments have seen increasing waits even though demand has declined compared to last year.
A properly-resourced NHS would not face this situation, yet the Tories have continued to boast about their handling of the NHS.
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