Intended for healthcare professionals


Snow in UK results in cancellation of surgery and outpatient clinics

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 12 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c194
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. 1London

    As Britain struggled to cope with its severest winter for a decade, the NHS warned elderly people to stay home and keep warm—while many non-urgent operations and outpatient clinics were cancelled.

    Many hospitals, including those in Oxford, Derby, Exeter, Lewisham, and West Sussex, were forced to cancel outpatient services and lower priority operations as temperatures fell to −13°C in some parts of the country and most areas were covered in thick snow.

    “Clinical teams may take the decision to postpone some operations to ensure they can deal with acute and emergency care,” said Mike Farrar, chief executive of the North West Strategic Health Authority. “This is standard procedure. Clinicians will not take this decision lightly, and every effort will be made to reschedule patients’ treatment as soon as possible.” …

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