The latest figures mean that 17,598 patients have had their urgent operation cancelled over the past five years [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty].

Hospitals in England cancelled 4,093 urgent procedures during 2016, equivalent to 341 per month. This was 8% more than the 3,777 scrapped in 2015 and up by 27% on the 3,216 such operations cancelled during 2014.

The latest figures mean 17,598 patients have had their urgent operation cancelled over the past five years, often at the last minute, despite their condition requiring surgery without delay.

The NHS England data shows that hospitals also cancelled 38,129 non-urgent elective operations between April and October, the largest number yet recorded for those six months.

A further 11 people died from flu last week, bringing the total to 53 since the start of December, and 65 needed to be treated in an intensive care or high-dependency unit.

Source: Hospitals cancelled record number of urgent operations last year | Society | The Guardian

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