Intended for healthcare professionals


One in seven operations cancelled on day of surgery, study finds

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 06 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3767
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London, UK

Ongoing pressure on NHS hospitals resulted in cancellation of one in seven operations on the day they were due to take place in one week in March last year, researchers have found.1

The research group, led by the Health Services Research Centre at the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the UCL Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, examined the factors associated with last minute cancellations. Their observational cohort study used data from 245 hospitals (more than 90% of NHS hospitals across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) during one week in March 2017.

They found a total of 26 171 inpatient operations scheduled to take place between 21 and 27 March. Of these, 3724 were cancelled or postponed …

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