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Advice to patients with planned operations and outpatient appointments

Devon is not alone in experiencing higher-than-normal levels of patients visiting A&E departments.

Patients and the wider general public may have heard today in the national media that the NHS may need to cancel appointments in order to cope with this emergency pressure.

Rob Dyer, lead medical director for the healthcare system in Devon, said: “We are currently working through the advice NHS England has given every health system in the country, are actively assessing the number of planned outpatient appointments and operations we can carry out over this period, and how many we may need to cancel.

“We will communicate with patients as soon as possible if their planned operation or outpatient appointment needs to be cancelled.

“Unless we contact you, patients with planned operations and appointments should attend as normal.

“NHS staff continue to do a fantastic job in what is always a difficult time of year, and I would like to thank them very much on behalf of the public for their ongoing efforts. 

“I would also like to once again thank people living in Devon for continuing to use alternative options for emergency care such as pharmacies, minor injury units and NHS 111.

“Weekly operational updates have been issued by NHS England since December and will continue through to the end of February 2018. 

“They will be posted on Thursdays at 9.30am to coincide with the monthly performance reports once a month.

“A&E performance will be published on a faster track than other performance indicators, a month earlier than last winter, so it is now being published two weeks in arrears rather than six.

“This will include A&E closures and diverts, bed availability and occupancy rates, and ambulance handover delays. There will also be updates on flu and norovirus."

Issued on behalf of:

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG
South Devon and Torbay CCG