British hospital forced to cancel cancer operations as coronavirus spreads on wards - GulfToday

British hospital forced to cancel cancer operations as coronavirus spreads on wards


A pedestrian walks past a sign displaying a message to wear a face covering in central London. File/AFP

Gulf Today Report

The coronavirus pandemic is not only affecting doctors and nurses involved in treating those infected. Even cancer patients have had a nasty setback. For perhaps the first time, these patients in a UK hospital have had surgery cancelled because of coronavirus as pressure mounts on hospitals from the second wave.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has confirmed it had to postpone the operations because of the number of patients needing intensive care beds.

While hospitals across the north of England have been forced to start cancelling routine operations in the last 10 days, maintaining cancer and emergency surgery had been a red line for bosses given the risk to patients from any delays.


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Cancer Research UK said it was “extremely concerning” that some operations had been postponed and called for urgent action and investment to make sure treatments were not curtailed further, the Independent newspaper reported.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust confirmed on Tuesday it had been forced to cancel surgery for four cancer patients because of pressure on its critical care bed capacity. The operations would be rescheduled and the trust said there was no plan for wider cancellations of cancer surgery.

A man wearing a protective mask walks past a mural depicting a nurse in Shoreditch in London. Reuters

The trust’s medical director Keith Girling appealed to the wider public to help support the hospital by following rules and reducing the spread of the virus.

He also revealed the pressures on the trust had triggered a contractual deal with three local private hospitals that will allow the NHS to take over the use of their sites from next Wednesday.

The trust has cancelled many of its routine surgeries for the next two weeks with 283 Covid-19 patients in its beds on Tuesday, higher than the peak in April with 21 patients in critical care.

Nottingham and parts of the surrounding area will move into the Covid tier 3 alert level on Thursday for 28 days after it recorded some of the highest rates of infection in the country.

The prevalence of the virus has also meant staff and other patients in the hospital have become infected. As of Tuesday, the hospital was reporting 14 outbreaks on its wards which meant some wards being closed and other areas sealed off, further hampering its ability to provide services.

It is not the only area affected by the surge in cases. Leeds Teaching Hospitals announced it now had more patients than at the peak in April with “only essential operations” going ahead.

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