Extra iron for patients to stop operations being cancelled

Patient Glenda Gibson (front right) with three staff members of Norfolk Community Health and Care NH

Patient Glenda Gibson (front right) with three staff members of Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (Mark Walker in centre). Picture by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust. - Credit: Archant

Patients are being given extra iron as health chiefs aim to reduce the number of cancelled operations.

The scheme, a four-month pilot run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, means anaemic patients can be referred for an iron infusion at Norwich Community Hospital.

Anaemia may mean patients are not healthy enough to be operated on, meaning their procedure is cancelled.

Mark Walker, service lead at the trust, said: 'If they are anaemic when they go in for surgery, they may lose blood and become more anaemic, which could mean they need a blood transfusion.

'Blood is scarce, and is expensive to store and transport.'

The service operates five days per week.

It is hoped that the service can run in community settings across Norfolk, helping to ease the pressure on the area's acute hospitals.

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The service welcomed its first patient, Glenda Gibson from Costessey, Norwich, last week.

She was found to be anaemic ahead of her much-needed knee replacement surgery, and was referred for an iron infusion.

'I really need this operation as I've been in a lot of pain, so it has had a big impact on my life,' she said.

'My husband is having cancer treatment at the moment so I'm hoping to have this operation soon so I can look after him.

'I was surprised when I heard I could come to Norwich Community Hospital, which I think is great – especially as I was born here.

'Once I'm not anaemic anymore, my operation can be re-scheduled, and I'm really looking forward to it.'

Have you got a health story?

Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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