SCHEDULED operations were cancelled at North Devon District Hospital last week in a bid to relieve a back-log of admissions caused by the recent cold snap of weather. Staff have battled to stay on top of a higher-than-average number of accident and emerge

SCHEDULED operations were cancelled at North Devon District Hospital last week in a bid to relieve a back-log of admissions caused by the recent cold snap of weather.Staff have battled to stay on top of a higher-than-average number of accident and emergency admissions - which have included injuries caused by people falling on ice - since December 15. Northern Devon Healthcare Trust took the decision to cancel 11 non-urgent operations on Wednesday, while a further six were suspended on Friday. No operations were scheduled to take place on Thursday.Trust spokesperson, Katherine Allen, said: "Instead of people being patched up and sent home again, patients were turning up in real need of attention, often resulting in admissions."The Trust put up 10 extra beds across the community but we had reached the point where we had to give the system a bit of breathing space."Therefore, on Tuesday, we took the difficult decision to cancel non-urgent in-patient surgery on Wednesday and Friday."Our booking staff explained what was happening as much as they could and have been helping people to reschedule their operations within the next week-or-so."Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is one of a number of Trusts around the country that have had to cancel operations and we didn't take the decision lightly. "But patients have been discharged back into our community teams and that has relieved a lot of pressure; we are back to normal this week.