Hospital bosses are busy trying to re-arrange a host of operations delayed by a planned strike by junior doctors, which was called off at the 11th hour.
A total of 27 operations at Blackpool Victoria Hospital were delayed by proposed industrial action.
Unfortunately the suspension came too late to reinstate the operations and outpatient appointments that have been cancelled.Mark O’Donnell
An agreement late on Monday night saw strike cation averted – but it was too late for hospitals to reverse cancellations of appointments at the hospital. Patients are now being contacted by hospital bosses to re-arrange their slots
Prof Mark O’Donnell, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Medical Director, said: “I am pleased that the industrial action has been suspended.
“A lot of staff in the Trust have been working very hard over the past few weeks to put in place contingency plans to ensure the safety of our patients should any action be taken.
“Unfortunately the suspension came too late to reinstate the operations and outpatient appointments that have been cancelled. These will be rescheduled as soon as possible and all patients will be contacted directly by the Trust.”
In total, 27 operations were delayed by the proposed industrial action as the Trust planned to ensure safe care for all patients.
Prof O’Donnell added: “We shall get back to normal business as soon as possible and hope that patients understand that measures had to be put into place to ensure we provided high-quality and safe services in the event of industrial action.
“The alteration to normal services was planned in the best interest of our patients and I can only apologise to patients who have had their treatments rescheduled.”
Thousands of patients across the UK had their operations and appointments cancelled despite the strike by junior doctors being called off.
A temporary agreement reached on Monday night between Government officials, the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS Employers meant three days of strikes would no longer go ahead.
There has already been mass disruption to the NHS, with thousands of patients unable to undergo operations or attend appointments on Tuesday alone.
A snapshot survey of almost 20 NHS trusts has revealed around 600 operations and procedures cancelled alongside around 3,500 outpatient appointments.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs on Monday that NHS England had estimated that up to 20,000 patients may have operations cancelled across all three days of planned action.
These included around 1,500 cataract operations, 900 skin lesion removals, 630 hip and knee operations, 400 spine operations, 250 gall bladder removals and nearly 300 tonsil and grommets operations.