Mark Martin of Health-on-Line calls for increased transparency from the NHS following recent reports of over 100,000 operations cancelled by the NHS in the past year.
Whilst the Department of Health announced that just over 57,000 operations had been cancelled, these figures only cover cancellations made in the 24 hours before an operation. The actual number nearly doubled when trusts were called upon to provide information for all cancelled operations. In thousands of cases patients suffered multiple cancellations.
Mark Martin says, "It comes as no surprise that the actual number of cancellations is higher than reported by the government. Whilst we understand and sympathise with the pressures on the NHS, we still believe that patients and the public have the right to demand transparency of information from the NHS and the government in the figures that demonstrate its standard of performance. Any statistics made available from a government source need to be relied upon. Patients need to be able to make an informed choice without a smokescreen of statistics that aren’t a true depiction of the reality. Often these procedures are of a major or complex nature and one cancellation, let alone multiple cancellations, only adds to the anxieties and stress experienced by the patient and their family. Private medical insurance can go some way towards alleviating these stresses by allowing the patient to choose when and where their procedure is undertaken."