Recently published figures show that Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge cancelled over 320 operations (or surgical procedures) on or after the day of admission over the period April to July; up from only 115 for the same period last year. There has historically been a tendency to see continuity issues in healthcare as being idiosyncratic and not amenable to normal management approaches; but this has been firmly refuted by recent guidance such as “BS NHS 25999″ and “PAS 2015: NHS Resilience – Guidance For NHS-Funded Organisations” which stress the importance of following established good practice in Business Continuity Management.
The breakdown of the figures from Addenbrooke’s illustrates the generic causes of most disruption. 291 of the cancellations were due to either a lack of operating time or shortage of bed spaces: these are very straightforward capacity issues which can me modelled and managed with normal operations management techniques. Incredibly, a further 19 cancellations were due to “medical supply or equipment shortages” – which is a (relatively) straightforward supply chain continuity issue. Only 5 procedures were actually cancelled by a consultant (and it is not even clear if all of these were for medical reasons).
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