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FOI Request

Disclosure ID
Request Date
September 3, 2018
Cancelled Operations

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to request the total number of operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons, broken down by the cause of the cancellation, for example due to lack of beds, operating theatre capacity, staffing issues, and equipment failures.

Please provide this information for each of the past five financial years (i.e. years running from April to March – 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18).


In the total number of operations, broken down by cancellation reason, please include:

  • Elective operations cancelled at the last minute. For the purposes of this request, last minute means on the day the patient was due to arrive, after the patient has arrived in hospital or on the day of the operation or surgery.
  • Cancelled urgent operations.

If the data is collected by the trust, please also provide a separate total for each year for all operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons, regardless of how soon before the scheduled operation time the cancellation occurred.

Elective operations cancelled on day of operation for non-clinical reasons.
Financial Year Cancellation Reason Number of cancelled ops
2013/14 Surgeon or Anaesthetist unavailable 1
Anaesthetist unavailable 9
Emergencies took priority 81
Equipment failure/unavailable 46
Hospital reason 126
ICU/HDU beds unavailable 51
List Overrun 128
Surgeon unavailable 11
Theatre staff unavailable 9
Ward beds unavailable 192
Total 654
2014/15 Surgeon or Anaesthetist unavailable 8
Anaesthetist unavailable 10
Emergencies took priority 74
Equipment failure/unavailable 54
Hospital reason 82
ICU/HDU beds unavailable 63
List Overrun 107
Surgeon unavailable 23
Theatre staff unavailable 8
Ward beds unavailable 71
Total 500
2015/16 Surgeon or Anaesthetist unavailable 4
Anaesthetist unavailable 3
Emergencies took priority 68
Equipment failure/unavailable 32
Hospital reason 41
ICU/HDU beds unavailable 41
List Overrun 148
Surgeon unavailable 62
Theatre staff unavailable 24
Ward beds unavailable 65
Was Not Brought 4
Total 492
2016/17 Surgeon or Anaesthetist unavailable 6
Anaesthetist unavailable 15
Emergencies took priority 62
Equipment failure/unavailable 45
Hospital reason 19
ICU/HDU beds unavailable 38
List Overrun 145
Surgeon unavailable 42
Theatre staff unavailable 17
Ward beds unavailable 196
Was Not Brought 3
Total 588
2017/18 Surgeon or Anaesthetist unavailable 5
Anaesthetist unavailable 19
Emergencies took priority 101
Equipment failure/unavailable 97
Hospital reason 53
ICU/HDU beds unavailable 80
List Overrun 175
Surgeon unavailable 38
Theatre staff unavailable 22
Ward beds unavailable 570
Was Not Brought 1
Total 1161
Total   3395

We do not identify “urgent” operations in the data


Please follow the link below for further information.


The information you have requested is available from NHS England, please see link below. Please note, the regional data is on the first tab, the trust data is on the second tab.



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