Hospitals in England have been advised to halt elective surgery over Christmas to ensure enough beds are free for patients who need emergency treatment at the end of the year.
In a sign of the intense pressures on NHS resources over the winter months, the regulator NHS Improvement said all hospitals should make more beds available between now and mid-January.
Jim Mackey, the chief executive of NHS Improvement, said the focus needed to be on emergency patients at what he called a critical time for the health service. Many hospitals take steps to wind down the number of operations they perform over the Christmas period, but a letter obtained by the Health Service Journal states that operations may need to be postponed “beyond any current plans”.
Read more in The Guardian.