HC Deb 29 February 2000 vol 345 cc222-3W
35. Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of delays in the provision of in-patient ear, nose and throat treatment at Southmead hospital in Bristol. [110890]

Ms Stuart

I understand, from information received from North Bristol National Health Service Trust, that a large number of medical admissions in recent weeks necessitated the postponement of a number of routine ear, nose and throat operations. Decisions about the postponement of operations are taken by clinicians on the basis of clinical priority.

The trust is taking action to maintain its elective capacity by the use of weekend operating lists, the use of local independent hospitals to enable routine surgical operations to be performed by NHS surgeons operating in NHS time, and buying places in private nursing homes to facilitate the discharge of medical patients.

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