Delayed operations could add to the “huge” costs faced by the council in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, according to the cabinet member for social care.

Failing to address chronic health conditions means they may need to be managed through social care packages – adding to the mounting financial pressures already faced by the local authority, Enfield Council has warned.

In April, NHS hospitals were told to cancel non-urgent operations in a bid to free up 30,000 beds to create space for coronavirus patients.

Although urgent surgery has gone ahead, many operations for hip and knee replacements, cataracts, hernias and other non-urgent treatments have been delayed.

Cabinet member for health and social care Cllr Alev Cazimoglu said: “We have already incurred huge costs in protecting our most vulnerable residents from the impact of Covid-19 and rightly so – it is the right thing to do.

“Our concern is that many older residents will pay the price of delayed operations over the long term. Failing to address chronic health conditions means those conditions will need to be managed through the use of care packages at increased cost to the council, when we are already reeling from the cost of dealing with this pandemic.”

Cllr Cazimoglu called on the Government to “fully cover all of the costs and future pressures we have incurred in dealing with Covid-19” – warning that a failure to do so could mean vital services have to be cut.

Enfield has so far received £17.9 million in emergency grants from the Government to deal with Covid-19 costs, but it is forecasting financial pressures of £68 million.

On April 20, after providing £1.6 billion of support for local authorities dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I promised local government would have the resources they need to meet this challenge and today demonstrates my commitment to doing just that.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with local government and my priority is to make sure they are supported so they can continue to support their communities through this challenging time.”

On May 4, Mr Jenrick told a House of Commons select committee councils would be “fully compensated” for “specific things” the Government asked them to do to tackle Covid-19 but would not commit to covering additional costs until more information was available.

The Department of Health and Social Care was approached for comment.