A study by healthcare charity the Patients Association has revealed that the number of elective procedures conducted by NHS trusts across England dropped drastically in 2010.
The study found that there were 10,757 fewer procedures carried out in 2010 than 2009, including 11% fewer tonsillectomies, 6% fewer knee replacements, 3% fewer hip replacements and 51% fewer bariatric procedures.
Patients also had to wait longer for surgical procedures; an average of eight days longer for hip and knee replacements, and six days longer for hysterectomies.
Patients Association chief executive, Katherine Murphy, said that patients were being denied access to surgical procedures in 2010 that they would have had if they had needed them in the previous year.
“With the NHS needing to make £20bn of savings by 2014, we are worried that this situation is only going to get worse,” Murphy said.
For the study, the Patients Association asked every trust in England to provide data on the number of surgical procedures conducted in 2009 and 2010 in specific categories.