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OUH issues statement on operations - outpatient appointments to continue as normal


Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced that outpatient apppointments at its hospitals would continue as normal, despite the cancellation of routine surgery.

The announcement follows the cancellation of non-urgent operations across England, in a bid to reduce pressure on hospitals. 

The statement by OUH said: "Due to very high demand on our services, we have taken the decision to temporarily postpone non-urgent, planned operations at three of our hospitals (John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre) from 3 January 2018. This is to ensure that our staff can prioritise those patients who require emergency treatment and care.

"This is not a decision we take lightly and we are grateful for the patience and understanding of those patients and their families who will be affected. All patients who have had procedures postponed will be contacted directly to let them know and have their operations rescheduled.

"Where clinically safe to do so, some of these procedures may be offered on a day case basis and therefore may still be able to go ahead.

"Outpatient appointments, day case operations, diagnostic tests, cancer care and emergency treatment are not affected and will continue as normal.

As always, people should only attend a hospital Emergency Department in a genuine emergency. There are alternative healthcare services available in the county and the Health and Care Oxfordshire app is a free way of locating the nearest service to best treat your illness or injury."

Commenting on the decision in an interview with BBC Radio Oxfordshire, Rosalind Pearce, said: “If people are having their operations cancelled, Healthwatch would like to hear from them. It seems to be an annual event whereby the hospitals can’t cope with the existing demand when A&E puts greater pressure on beds and staff. It appears to be something that locally, we can’t work out an answer to.

“Having said that, people are moving out of hospital quicker than they have done in the past, which will free up beds for people coming in through A&E. Part of the answer is to make sure that people only go to A&E if they absolutely need to. They should contact 111 or try and get an appointment with their GP rather than turning up at A&E.”