A Midland hospital trust has been forced to cancel up to 10 operations a day after being inundated with patients struck with winter ailments.
Bosses of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust have apologised for postponing routine surgery at Cannock Chase and Stafford hospitals.
But they said it was due to “unusually high numbers of people” being admitted with conditions including respiratory illnesses, chest pains and falls caused by the harsh winter weather.
Admissions have been 20 per cent higher than expected at this time of year.
Steve May, surgical divisional manager, said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to all patients who have had their operations postponed during the last few weeks.
“This is not just happening at our Trust, but is being reflected in hospitals across the whole of the West Midlands.
“All emergency and urgent operations are still being carried out as a priority and so far, no orthopaedic operations at Cannock Chase Hospital have had to be cancelled due to emergency demand. We are reviewing the situation on a daily basis.”