Surgeons carry out operations just once a FORTNIGHT despite huge NHS backlog, leading medic warns, as seven million people in England languish on treatment waiting lists
- Professor Neil Mortensen said staff shortages are dragging down productivity
- Seven million people in England are waiting for NHS treatment, figures show
Surgeons are carrying out operations just once a fortnight despite huge backlogs in NHS care, a leading medic has warned.
Professor Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said staff and operating theatre shortages are dragging down productivity among staff.
He also said the recent threat of further strike action by health unions are ‘extremely concerning’ to patient safety.
Figures earlier this month revealed that seven million people in England are currently waiting for treatment in the health service.
When starting his career, Prof Mortensen said he was performing surgary four days a weeks.
Surgeons are carrying out operations just once a fortnight despite huge backlogs in NHS care, a leading medic has warned
But surgeons have admitted to Prof Mortensen, who teaches colorectal surgery at Oxford Medical School, that they cannot perform surgical proceedures on a weekly basis.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Prof Mortensen said fellow surgeons have increasingly told him: ‘I want to operate but because of the way things are organised I can only get in to do surgery one day every two weeks.’
He said that bureaucratic demands from health chiefs and shortages of support staff, including anaesthetists and scrub nurses, has led surgeons twiddling their thumbs or dealing with administrative burdens.
Recent walkouts by NHS staff, including junior doctors, have resulted in half a million cancelled appointments and operations.
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