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Operations cancelled as heavy snow and ice hits UK hospitals

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Unprecedented levels of snowfall have caused chaos for hospitals across the country.

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All non-urgent operations were cancelled in Oxford, while outpatient services and lower priority operations have been postponed at many medical centres in the rest of the UK.

We want to ensure that patients do not feel they have to make unnecessary journeys

A spokeswoman for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust said: “We also want to ensure that patients do not feel they have to make unnecessary journeys to our hospitals if their treatment can be postponed until it is safe to travel.

“This is in line with guidance issued by the Highways Agency to car drivers to stay off the roads unless it is absolutely essential to do so.”

Patients due to have operations at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Oxford Heart Centre, the Children’s Hospital and West Wing, the Churchill Hospital, the Oxford Cancer Centre and the Horton General Hospital, Banbury, have been asked not to phone in, but to wait for staff to contact them to rearrange their appointment.

They remain open to emergency patients.

The South Central Ambulance Service Trust said there would be limited patient transport services for non-essential treatment, but stressed that they would try to reach dialysis and radiotherapy patients.

Elsewhere in the country, Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust said it would only operate on “priority cases” and had cancelled elective surgery procedures.

A statement said this was to alleviate pressures put on the trust caused by casualties as a result of the icy conditions.

All outpatient appointments at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, were cancelled, but a spokesman said it was “business as usual” at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

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