Around 200 operations have been cancelled at Royal Berks hospitals in one year, leaving politicians “furious”.

The equivalent of one operation every other day was cancelled last year, a freedom of information request (FOI) has revealed.

But the FOI also revealed cancellations have dropped by 41 per cent in the last three years, showing the situation is getting better at the Reading hospital.

Craig Morley, Tory parliamentary candidate for Reading East, said the numbers are “still too high” despite the improvement.

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There were 721 operations cancelled at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust hospitals due to staff shortages and equipment failures over the last three years (2016/17 to 2018/19).

While there were 326 operations cancelled in 2016/17, this dropped to 203 in 2017/18 and 192 in 2018/19.

Delays as a result of staff shortages increased, while delays because of equipment failure fell.

If the hospital cancels an operation it must offer another date within the next 28 days.

Rachel Eden, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Reading West, said: “For every person from our community whose operation has been cancelled – that’s yet another individual in agonising pain or terrible stress, wondering when their operation will actually happen.

“It’s a whole family put under enormous strain, it’s husbands, wives, sons or daughters who’ve had to take even more time off work to care for their loved one – often unpaid.

“We can’t trust Boris Johnson with Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation – and we can’t trust him with our NHS.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way. The UK is a rich country, and we can afford to treat our NHS patients with dignity. Labour will recruit the doctors and nurses we need.”

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Mr Morley said the Conservative government will deliver £33.9 billion more for the NHS by 2023-24 – "the biggest cash boost ever.

“We have committed to rebuilding the Royal Berks – where I was born – with new state-of-the-art facilities,” he said.

“The hospital is also one of 78 on the receiving end of a £200m investment for new MRI and CT scanners, as well as breast screening imaging and assessment equipment to help improve cancer detection and survival.

“Labour continues to use the NHS as a political football.

“Their entire election campaign in focused on NHS scaremongering. People have had enough.”

The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust refused to comment citing purdah guidelines.