Health chiefs have said Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital are moving back to ‘business as usual’.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals made the decision to cancel all ‘non-urgent’, elective surgery last week after saying they had experienced an ‘unprecedented’ and ‘extraordinary’ level of attendances.
The NHS foundation trust came under criticism after it postponed around 100 procedures in total, including a small number of cancer patients.
But on Thursday it began re-booking the cancelled appointments, and today it said the number of patients requiring urgent care had subsided.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We think we are moving back into business as usual.
“We are back down to more expected levels of attendance.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and will be keeping an eye on things during this cold weather.”
However, unions warned that despite the improvement, underlying issues would remain and needed addressing.
They argued the effect of millions of pounds worth of cuts to community care, social care and hospital budgets had led to an increased number of people needlessly coming into hospital, and meant many were unable to be discharged on time because necessary home support wasn’t available.
Tim Ellis, Unison’s regional officer for Lancashire, said: “If it’s business as usual that means elective surgery is back on and the pressures are off.
“But the issues that caused this at the start will remain.”
Councillors and MPs had claimed a lack of beds due to ward closures and mismanagement was the root of the problem, not winter pressures.
Meanwhile a whistleblowing manager at the trust said it was a ‘staffing issue’ and claimed there had been beds free “all over the hospital”.
The trust’s next board meeting will be held on March 27 at Royal Preston Hospital.