More than 800 operations were cancelled at the last minute by Burton and Derby hospitals last year, new data has revealed.
Doctors’ groups said increasingly busy hospitals with too few staff were contributing to the problem, leaving patients in pain and distress with longer waits.
The trust says while it is never part of the plan to cancel operations, the problem is down to “increased demand” for services and all patients affected are quickly contacted to reschedule their operations.
Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, spokesman The Doctors’ Association UK, said: “We have no doubt that a staffing crisis in the NHS has exacerbated this issue. “Intensive care units across the country have had no option but to close beds due to a lack of staff, resulting in cancelled operations for those patients who require high dependency post-operative care.
“This has been compounded by a punitive pensions tax which has forced consultants to drop their hours as wait times spiral.”
Dr Yaso Browne, GP Lead at The Doctors Association UK, said cancelling elective procedures meant an increased burden on other services as patients become more unwell as they wait. She said: “For some, for example, prolonged waiting for cataract or hip surgery, can lead to deterioration to their health and wellbeing.
“These patients then need more support from an already crippled primary care or may find they can no longer cope in the community setting without social care support or secondary care services.”