Children's Operations Cancelled in Somerset

11 Apr 2023

More than 500 children’s operations have been cancelled at hospitals in Somerset Foundation Trust in the past five years, many due to a shortage of staff and beds, shocking figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The data, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, shows that 97 children’s operations have been cancelled due to a lack of beds and 56 due to staff shortages since 2018.

Another 37 were cancelled due to equipment problems, such as machines being faulty or not being available.

Some children at the local NHS trust were left waiting up to 711 days for an operation, the data suggests.

A total of 136 children’s operations were cancelled in 2022, an increase of 43.16% compared to the year before.

The Liberal Democrats are urging the Government to come up with a rescue plan to bring health services back from the brink.

This would include bringing in a proper plan to tackle workforce shortages in the NHS, investing in newer equipment and increasing bed capacity at local hospitals.

Sarah Dyke, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton & Frome, said: “These new figures are shocking and reveal that there are hundreds of children and parents in our community having to wait in pain and distress.

"Years of neglect of the NHS by this Government have led to chronic staff shortages and a lack of hospital beds, and now local families are paying the price.

“The Liberal Democrats are calling for a rescue plan now to bring local health services back from the brink. That must include increasing bed capacity and tackling staff shortages, so people aren’t left waiting so long for the care they deserve."