"op cancelled at last minute"

About: Watford General Hospital

admitted to Elizabeth Ward 11.00am Thursday 26th Nov for removal of large ovarian cyst, asked to wait in day room. Nursing staff pleasant, paperwork finished met anaesthetist & consultant. Early afternoon given gown & stockings to change into by 4.00pm ( If bed not available by then, change in the toilet, which I did) surgery due at 5pm (last on the list and expected to take a couple of hours).

By that time seating in day room becoming very uncomfortable & only so many mags you can read before boredom gets you ! So partner & I both got up & walked / stood in the corridor. Mealtime came & went nurses busy, shift change etc also.

Around 6.30pm a nice nurse asked if everything ok - said just waiting to go up for op. They asked if I had a bed, explained not yet so they immediately apologised, said they had not realised as they were working at the other end & went off to sort out. So I got a bed by 6.45pm. Approx 7.15pm surgeons came in - I thought to take me up but no, very apologetic but also clearly very annoyed that op had to be cancelled as two theatre staff were unwilling to stay on after 8pm as they had appointments. (The surgeons & the anaesthetist were all willing to stay on but could not continue without full staff level)

As I could not be operated on Friday, I had to be sent home to await a new date. So after approximately 24 hours without food, and getting dehydrated by this time, the waste of the admissions staff time, the waste of the pre-med staff's time plus mine & my partners and to add insult to injury we had purchased a weekly carpark ticket as my partner would be the primary taxi driver for the family- I don't live locally - we went home around 7.30pm.

I should say the nice nurse brought us both a cup of tea & biscuits but I was a little light headed when I left - the stress of the fruitless wait I expect.

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Response from Watford General Hospital

We are sorry to learn that your experience of our hospital was not as expected.

If you would like us to investigate this matter further on your behalf, please contact our colleagues in the Complaints Department on 01923 217866.

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