Record level of cancelled urgent operations for NHS England

Updated: 

The number of urgent operations cancelled in English hospitals has hit a record level, official figures show.

The NHS England statistics show 446 urgent operations were cancelled in November, the highest recorded since the information was first collected in August 2010.

Former health minister Norman Lamb urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to boost funding for the NHS, warning it was "being stretched to breaking point".

The November figure compares with 357 for the previous month, and is almost 200 higher than in the same month in 2015.

Liberal Democrat Mr Lamb said: "This is a damning indictment of this Government's failure to properly fund the NHS.

"The Liberal Democrats demanded £400 million of emergency funding in the Autumn Statement to help the NHS cope with the winter crisis, but sadly these calls fell on deaf ears.

"Now patients are paying the price for the Government's short-sightedness, with record levels of cancelled operations and hospitals being stretched to breaking point.

"Waiting for an operation is stressful enough even when everything goes smoothly, to be told that your operation has been delayed heaps even more strain on patients.

"But it's not too late to reconsider. I urge the Chancellor to give the health service the cash injection it needs to get through the winter, as well as agreeing to work cross-party to secure a new long-term financial settlement for the NHS and social care."