"Oporation Cancellation"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

My wife had an accident on her ankle a few years ago and needed an operation, the date was set and a few days before its was cancelled by the hospital (Taunton), We had a redate for the operation and everything when fine, arrived at hospital, checked in, show to her own room and got ready to be take into the operating room. Then she received a phone call saying they have had to cancel the operation etc and they had no idea we was already and waiting in the room. So three of us lost out on wages that day for an error by the hospital, and then had to re book a date for the operation. The operation then took place and everything was fine. But a year down the line another operation was needed and was told of the date on Wednesday 4th of june 2014 that they had a space available to operate on Monday 9th june 2013 as was the short notice her work place rushed around and arranged cover for the 6 weeks or so she would be away only to find out today Friday 6th June that they have had to cancel AGAIN the operation leaving my wife very upset. As no she will miss out on around 14 weeks of pay as the school have arranged a temp to cover her work so she will not have a job. This is totally unacceptable, why offer a place on Wednesday and then cancel it 1 1/2 days later after we had rushed to arrange cover for work, Days off, family had arranged to come down. Surely there are better ways to deal with this sort of thing.

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Response from Patient Engagement & Experience Administrator, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear James

Thank you for sharing your story and I am very sorry to hear of the problems you are experiencing. I have forwarded your comments to the relevant department for a response. We would like to help resolve this for you and ask if you to call the Patient Engagement and Experience Team on 01392 402093 or 402071.

Kind regards


Response from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear James

Further to our inital comment above we would like to add the following:

β€˜An unusually large number of emergency patients were admitted throughout the week in which your partner was contacted, and this eventually had a significant impact on the number of beds available for elective Orthopaedic patients. Regrettably, a number of Orthopaedic patients were affected by this, and every effort was therefore made to minimise the delay for all patients involved. I do apologise for the impact this has evidently had upon yourself and your partner, and would be happy to discuss further should your partner wish to contact us.

The RD&E has taken a number of actions to minimise cancellations of elective Orthopaedic patients in recent years. Particularly, two new medical wards were built during the winter of 2012, which have eased pressures significantly, and the elective Orthopaedic unit has been ring-fenced in line with best infection control practice. However, the demand for emergency beds has been exceptionally high in recent months, which has at times required the size of the elective unit to be reduced in order to safely care for emergency patients. The department recognises the seriousness of this issue, and is working on proposals to increase the number of both elective beds and emergency beds available.

I notice that you also mention your experience at Taunton – unfortunately we cannot comment on this, but can pass your comments on should you wish.’

Cluster Manager

Trauma, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Pain Management