Nottingham to open 80 new beds after cancellations surge
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust is to invest more than £4m to open 80 new beds, after it was forced to cancel an “unprecedented” number of operations.
The trust told HSJ it planned to open 68 new beds at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and 12 new respiratory beds at the nearby City Hospital.
In a step the trust believes is a first, it has also begun publishing its total numbers of cancelled operations – both on and prior to the day of surgery.
Between January and August this year NUH cancelled 870 operations on the day of surgery, with many cancelled more than once. However, it also cancelled 2,891 operations before the day of surgery.
Chief executive Peter Homa told HSJ that cancellations had “reached unprecedented levels for us”.
He continued: “For many patients and their families it is just as distressing to cancel an operation prior to the day as it is on the day, so to give a more accurate picture of our service performance we have become the first trust in the country to publish both figures.
This meant the trust could “be held to account in a much more public way”.
He added that the situation at NUH had now improved, with fewer operations cancelled in June and August.
The trust said the cancellations were due to the increased acuity of its patients, with older patients admitted who were staying longer. This had been compounded by surges in accident and emergency attendances, meaning the trust had to prioritise urgent and emergency surgery.
NUH has already opened 30 extra beds and an emergency day unit in response to the problem, and recruited more nurses and doctors to A&E.