"Cardiac Procedure Canceled on the Day Without..."

About: Wexham Park Hospital

I find it incredulous that a procedure such as an Angiogram that has been scheduled for a number of weeks can be canceled on the day without prior notice or warning. I found myself in this position yesterday 27th January 2014 along with two (2) other patients. Our appointments had been scheduled for 0800hrs and we arrived between 0730hrs and 0755hrs, to be shown into what can only be described as a metal framed conservatotry type extension with two double doored fire exits allowing drafts into what was an already a very cold environment. A small fan heater was blasting out hot air at floor level. Having been seated we were left waiting until approximately 0825hrs when two patients were taken into the ward. Nothing was then heard until 0935hrs when a member of staff came into the room and announced that we may as well all go to the cafe or find a rest area as we would not be seen for at least another one or two hours. Of course, those of us awaiting a procedeure must not eat or drink anything. (We had not been allowed to eat or drink anything for at least six hours prior to the scheduled procedures at 0800hrs!) Our mobile phone numbers were taken and we went off in our various directions. Having settled down in one of the Cafe's, I eventually received a call at approximately 1050hrs telling me that the procedure had been canceled and would not be taking place that day. After a stunned silence I asked the reason why, I was told that there had not been any staff on the previous Friday and that the unit had been closed over the weekend therefore there weren't any free beds. Trying to take this all in I asked if they knew on Friday that the procededures were in all probability not going to go ahead today, the reply was "Yes". I then asked why no one had contacted us to warn us of this, I was told that there were no staff available to call us. In order to be in a position to attend on time and as stress free as possible given the nature of my pending procedure, I had stayed in a nearby Hotel the night before and in order to be able to do this had paid someone to look after my animals for the night at home. Not to mention that my wife had taken the day off of work as had I and that I had been mentaly building myself up to this for a number of weeks only to be told almost three hours after it was supposed to have taken place that the procedure had been canceled and frankly it was tough luck!! Should we expect and put up with this type of disrespectful treatment from the NHS? From what I have subsequently read, it certainly appears that this is par for the course at Wexham Park Hospital.

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Response from Wexham Park Hospital

We are sorry to hear of your experience and, as you indicate, that you weren't given more notice that the cancellation was possible. I appreciate that this must have been very frustrating, especially as coming into hospital for any procedure comes with some anxiety and that you then had to stay locally to enable you to be ready to undergo the procedure the following day. It is disappointing that the staff were also not sincere and apologise for the cancellation and we will share your feedback with the team. We would like the opportunity to look into this in more detail. If you would like us to, please contact our Patient Relations team by emailing patientrelations@hwph-tr.nhs.uk with your details and making reference to this post.

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