Universal Health Care Horror: Operations cancelled at Royal Stoke University Hospital after A&E delays


OPERATIONS were cancelled at the last minute after a hospital A&E experienced one of the busiest days in its history.

Bosses at the Royal Stoke University Hospital made the decision to postpone routine surgery to free up beds for patients arriving at A&E.

They have now pledged to reschedule procedures as soon as possible.

It comes after the Hartshill complex saw a huge rise in patients suffering from the winter vomiting bug norovirus and the flu.

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Ann Marie Morris, the hospital’s clinical director for emergency medicine, said: “Our primary concern is the safety of patients. As part of our plans to manage high demands on NHS services, clinical teams have taken the decision to postpone some operations to ensure they can deal with acute and emergency care such as accidents, medical and surgical emergencies. This is standard procedure to allow emergency patients waiting in A&E to be admitted to a bed.

“Clinicians will not take this decision lightly, and every effort will be made to reschedule their treatment as soon as we can.

“We would ask for people to be patient as NHS staff work hard to ensure that NHS services are maintained as much as possible. Our emergency centre staff are here to treat accidents and emergencies, there are alternatives to A&E and those who are able to should use these.”

Exact figures for the number of patients who flooded into A&E over the weekend and today have not yet been revealed but the hospital described the demand on its services as ‘unprecedented’.

Now NHS leaders are urging people with minor injuries to steer clear of A&E if they are not suffering from genuinely life-threatening conditions.

Instead they should attend walk-in centres, pharmacies, their own GP surgeries, dial the 111 helpline – or even treat themselves.

Stuart Poynor, Chief Executive of the Partnership Trust, which provides community services to people living in North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, said: “To support colleagues at University Hospital of North Midlands and the ambulance service we have taken the difficult decision to suspend some of our services in the community.

“This means some patients may be asked to postpone their routine appointments unless it is urgent.

“This is to ensure all efforts can be made to support patients back into their homes from hospital through services such as intermediate care and Living Independently Staffordshire.”

The decision to cancel operations comes after The Sentinel revealed that ambulances parked outside the hospital were used as ‘temporary treatment areas’ because of a lack of beds in A&E.


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