Derriford Hospital cancelled more than 1,600 operations this year

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that more than 1,600 operations were cancelled at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital in 2022.

The figures, obtained by the Labour Party, revealed that a total of 1,640 operations were cancelled at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, 596 of which due to a lack of beds.

A further 350 operations were cancelled due to a lack of staff, 296 as theatre lists overran, 292 because an emergency case took priority and 52 due to equipment failure.

Plymouth’s Labour MP Luke Pollard said the figures “lay bare the crisis in the NHS”.

He said: “Patients in Plymouth are forced to wait longer for vital operations because the Conservatives have failed to train enough staff over the past 12 years.

"Having operations cancelled causes huge disruption to patients and prevents them from being able to get on with their lives."

A spokesperson for the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said it is looking at ways to increase the number of operations, but it may mean patients having surgery elsewhere.

A spokesperson said: “We sympathise with patients currently on waiting lists for operations and understand how this can be a distressing experience. Cancelling and rearranging any surgery is a decision that is not taken lightly. 

“We are hoping to increase surgery and appointments as soon as we can and will keep patients updated. For some patients, this may mean that surgery may be delivered in different places to where they may have had them before.”

The Trust added that it 'continues to invest in staff' so there will be more staff seeing and treating patients than ever before.

In the last two years, the trust has increased medical staffing by 200, and other clinical and support staff by 500 UHP is recruiting more clinical staff such as nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants and other frontline professionals.