Monday 28 November 2022 10:51 PM Patients WON'T have surgery cancelled at last minute, NHS bosses say trends now
Patients won't have procedures cancelled at the last minute due to the nurses' strikes, but care will have to be postponed, the head of the NHS has warned.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, told MPs she could not confirm how far in advance patients would be notified about any changes to upcoming treatment.
Addressing the public accounts committee, she said efforts would be made to inform them 'sooner rather than later'.
Mike Prentice, NHS England's national director for emergency, planning and incident response, sent a letter yesterday to hospitals and care providers, warning the walkouts could result in the postponement of urgent surgery, chemotherapy and kidney dialysis.
The Royal College of Nursing has announced it plans to strike at some hospitals on December 15 and 20, but is yet to confirm which locations and services will be affected
Time-critical services for seriously ill patients may also be scaled back or stopped, the letter warned.
Mrs Pritchard admitted to MPs that the NHS was not expecting to hit a major cancer target by March. She said a surge in patients coming forward for cancer checks meant it would no longer be possible to ensure the number waiting more than 62 days to start treatment following an urgent referral would return to pre-pandemic levels by then.