Hospital cancelling operations

Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc
Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc

Patients scheduled for operations at Craigavon Area Hospital have had to be sent home as the hospital deals with record numbers.

Monday was the busiest day so far this year for the Emergency Department with 300 patients passing through the doors. Of these, around 70 were admitted to wards.

The health trust said this month has been extremely busy, with a total of 24 procedures cancelled last week.

But they added that new dates were quickly rescheduled for all these patients.

A Portadown man, who is suffering from cancer, is one of those who had his operation cancelled last Monday.

Councillor Julie Flaherty said the pensioner was in bed, ready to go for surgery to remove a tumour, when he was told the operation couldn’t proceed.

She said, “He was told they could probably take him in three weeks but he was very upset and annoyed.”

After intervention from the UUP office, the man’s surgery went ahead this week and he is currently recuperating.

Councillor Flaherty said his case was by no means exceptional and that her office was dealing with similar cancellations on a weekly basis.

“This is not a one-off,” she said. “The hospital is under severe pressure.”

A Southern Trust spokesperson said, “Both of our acute hospitals (Craigavon and Daisy Hill) have been very busy in recent weeks.

“Unfortunately, we had to cancel some planned operations because of a high number of unplanned admissions... We apologise for the distress caused to these patients and we are continuing to do everything possible to avoid cancelling planned procedures.”

He added that savings of £6.4 million needed this year would be “targeted to ensure there is a limited impact on direct patient care”.