"Risk my operation would be postponed"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I had a gynaecology operation booked in for mid-Jan. On the afternoon of the day before, I was called and informed that my procedure had been put on hold due to a lack of beds. I was advised to proceed as if it was going ahead and that I would receive a call the following morning before I was due at the hospital to let me know if it was to be cancelled.

When I hadn't received a call by 10:15am on the day, I phoned and was called back 30 minutes later asking me to come in. Thankfully my operation went ahead and all of the staff I met while I was there couldn't have been more helpful, but the call the previous day caused unnecessary anxiety at an already worrying time.

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Response from Bill Kilvington, Assistant Director for Women and Children's, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Owly

I would like to apologise for the distress that was caused by putting your operation 'on hold'. Unfortunately over the winter period that has been a significant increase in emergency admissions to the hospital, well over and above the normal winter levels we would expect.

As this has varied from day to day, we have tried to forwarn patients that their procedures may have to be postponed, while doing everything possible to secure a bed the following day. This involves ensuring that the patients attending A&E and requiring admission can be safely accommodated.

I appreciate this has been distressing and makes it difficult to plan around your work and/or family commitments and wish to assure you that this is not something that we take lightly. I apologise for the distress this situation caused

I wish you a speedy recovery from your operation and thank you for the kind comments about the staff you met on the day.

Kind Regards

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