Northern Ireland news

Western Trust apologises as cancer patients waiting for surgery face further delays

Hopes that delayed cancer operations in the Western trust would take place on Wednesday were dashed this week.
Paul Ainsworth

CANCER patients who had their surgeries postponed by the Western trust earlier this week over a surge in Covid-19 cases are facing a further wait for their operations.

Fourteen patients requiring overnight stays as part of their treatment were due to undergo 'red flag' surgeries on Monday and Tuesday, but the operations were delayed and the trust warned that the situation was "fluid".

Yesterday the trust confirmed that none of the surgeries for the 14 overnight cancer patients had taken place, and issued an apology.

"We are working with clinicians and surgeons to rebook these patients at the earliest opportunity," the spokesperson said.

Cancer surgeries for patients not requiring overnight stays in hospital were not affected, and procedures went ahead yesterday.

"We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis," they continued, adding: "We sincerely apologise to any patient who had their surgery postponed and have been affected by this decision."

A total of 624 Western trust staff are currently self isolating as a result of covid and are among 2,700 healthcare workers across the north affected.

Speaking at yesterday's Stormont briefing, health minister Robin Swann said: "Whilst there has been disruption in recent days, I'm reassured that many of the cancelled procedures and surgeries will be rescheduled as quickly as possible in the days and weeks ahead."

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