A HUDDERSFIELD hospital chief has hit back at a report highlighting the need for improvements in day surgery.
David Wise, divisional director for surgery and anaesthetic services for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust said day surgery was already being used efficiently at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
His comments came after a national study by the Healthcare Commission showed 45% of day surgery time nationally was not being used because of cancelled operations, late starts and excessive delays between operations.
The report revealed how day surgery theatres were only being used for an average of 16 hours a week.
And it identified how an extra 74,000 patients a year could be undergoing day surgery instead of being admitted to hospital.
But at the Infirmary - where almost 7,000 patients had day surgery last year - 92% of surgery time was going ahead as planned, according to Mr Wise.
He said: "Clearly it is very important that we agree that day surgery is an appropriate way of treating many patients.
"We are working each year to increase the number of operations we carry out.
"Operations are cancelled from time to time.
"A small number of patients - 1.8% - do not turn up for various reasons.
"A further 2.9% of operations have to be cancelled on the day for other reasons such as patients failing to starve when they need to or them not being fit on the day if they have a cold for example.
"We do as much as we can to minimise this by assessing patients when they book their day surgery."
He said there were three dedicated day surgery theatres in a purpose-built unit at the Infirmary which together carried out 35 hours of day surgery a week.