Charing Cross Hospital

Health written question – answered on 26th May 2005.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Conservative, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations were postponed in the Charing Cross hospital in (a) 1992, (b) 1997, (c) 2001 and (d) 2004.

Photo of Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department does not collect data on postponed operations. Figures for cancelled operations for non clinical reasons are collected, but by national health service trust and not by individual hospital. Figures for Hammersmith hospitals NHS trust, of which Charing Cross hospital is a part, are shown in the following table.

Cancelled operations for non clinical reasons
Hammersmith hospitals NHS trust
1992–93 n/a
1997–98(15) n/a
2001–02 553
2003–04 390
2004–05(16) (17)

(15) Data are not collected for individual hospitals. Data was collected by health authority only prior to 2001–02. Trust level data was collected from 2001–02 onwards.

(16) 2004–05 data is not yet available. Instead, the latest published 2003–04 data is shown in the table.

(17) To be published end of May 2005.


1. A last minute cancellation is one that occurs on the day the patient was due to arrive, after they have arrived in hospital or on the day of their operation. For example, a patient is to be admitted to hospital on a Monday for an operation scheduled for the following day (Tuesday). If the hospital cancels the operation for non-clinical reasons on the Monday, then this would count as a last minute cancellation. This includes patients who have not actually arrived in hospital and have been telephoned at home prior to their arrival. An operation which is rescheduled to a time within 24 hours of the original scheduled operation should be recorded as a postponement and not as a cancellation. The QMCO collection does not record the number of postponements.

2. Some common non-clinical reasons for cancellations by the hospital include: ward beds unavailable; surgeon unavailable; emergency case needing theatre; theatre list over-ran; equipment failure; administration error; anaesthetist unavailable; theatre staff unavailable; and critical care bed unavailable.


Department of Health dataset QMCO.

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