"Surgery/Operating Theatre"

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

(as the patient),

I had breast surgery (lumpectomy) 3 yrs ago. I had to go to Victoria Hospital first to have a wire inserted into my breast to locate the lump, then to Queens for surgery. I had a wristband put on to alert theatre staff that I was allergic to micropore/mepore tape. Several hours after my op I was burning up and covered in a rash; my face, throat, tongue, eyelids and lips were swollen and my throat felt as if it was closing up.

Fortunately a nurse detected that my dressings were mepore resulting in my having anaphylactic shock. I was quite poorly for several hours. When I went back to the consultant I was told that the wire was either in the wrong place or had moved during my journey from Victoria to Queens and they had failed to remove the lump. I had to go back 4 months later and the lump was satisfactorily removed. During this stay I had to remain on the recovery ward for 2 days as no beds. They brought coffee and toast around 7 am then nothing else for us to eat all day. I had to get my husband to bring me in a sandwich at 7. 30 pm. I asked why no food or drink and was told it was because it's not catered for on recovery as people usually too ill to eat.

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Response from Queen's Hospital

I am very sorry that you were unhappy with the care you received. We have introduced new safety processes and checklists for surgery since you were with us, and also worked hard to improve the availability of food and drink at any time for patients on our wards and recovery areas. We have also reorganised breast care services, so that patients no longer have to travel from Victoria to Queen’s or King George for surgery, sometimes with the guidewires in place, it all now takes place at King George. If you still have concerns, please feel free to contact me through our PALS team on 01708 435454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk so that we can investigate further. Yours sincerely Dr Mike Gill Medical Director

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