DOZENS of patients have had operations cancelled at the last minute.

New figures revealed some patients are getting “super stranded” in beds delaying operations for others.

Others have seen appointments cancelled more than ten times with hospitals struggling to cope with demand.

A total of 115 operations at Southend Hospital were cancelled in 2018/19 at the last minute.

Out of those 13 were still waiting for a new date for a month.

Basildon Hospital cancelled 59 such operations with one patient still waiting for an operation beyond 28 days.

Part of the blame has been put down to the 87 per cent of trusts struggling to reduce the number of people in hospital for more than 21 days - classed as “super stranded”.

This is one of the main reasons given for operation and appointments being cancelled.

The figures were released by CHS Healthcare which works in partnership with the NHS to provide in hospital discharge services.

Hospital patients are also having outpatient appointments cancelled more than ten times in a row, amid the growing pressure across the NHS.

A Daily Telegraph investigation reveals soaring numbers of patients - many elderly - are suffering repeated cancellations, with notice only given in some cases the night before via letters dispatched by taxi.

In other cases, patients have been left waiting years to see a hospital doctor after their NHS slot was axed again and again.

Five patients who experienced more than 10 cancellations in a row had been left waiting for care since at least 2014, the figures show.

Southend Hospital cancelled 12 patients’ appointments more than ten times in 2018.

Neil Rothnie, medical director at Southend Hospital said: “There are a number of factors which may lead to cancelling or rescheduling appointments, including bringing appointments forward and most commonly, alterations to booked appointments to change timeslots.

We also give some of our patients open appointments; this is where they only need to attend if they are experiencing problems, so are sometimes cancelled if the patient is well.

“In addition appointments may be cancelled if a patient is already in hospital.” Across the UK 80,000 operations were cancelled.