DOZENS of pre-booked operations were postponed on the day or after a patient was admitted to Barnsley Hospital over a three-month period.

Figures show 40 operations at the hospital were postponed between April and June.

The NHS aims to offer all people who have routine surgery cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons another date within a month.

But nine had to wait more than four weeks for a new date.

In the first three months of the year, 35 surgeries were cancelled with another nine patients waiting longer than expected for a follow-up.

Between April and June 2019 - before the Covid-19 pandemic - a total of 41 operations were cancelled.

Data on cancellations was not collected between January 2020 and last September due to the disruption coronavirus caused across the NHS.

Common non-clinical reasons for last-minute cancellations at hospitals include a lack of beds, surgeons being unavailable, emergency cases taking precedence, equipment failure and staff shortages.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “It can be distressing and frustrating for a patient when a surgical procedure is cancelled.

“This can be made worse if the patient doesn’t know when the procedure will be rescheduled.

“Immediate investment in social care is needed to enable hospitals to safely discharge medically fit patients into the community, which would increase the NHS’s ability to treat more patients, and a long-term work strategy for both the NHS and social care is urgently needed.”

An NHS spokesperson said two-year waits for treatment - which had become a concern - have now been ‘virtually eliminated’ and they are now working on ending 18-month waits for care.