"Royal mess up"

About: Salisbury District Hospital

Having had a torn rotator cuff (i think - never actually been told) that lead to a frozen shoulder 18 months ago, i was advised to have an op - so not good with being put under, get anxious etc because of a low blood pressure, plucked up the courage. Rang SAL to get my appt, for 7.15am today, told not to drink/smoke/eat after 6am - fine, i can do that. So, anxious day yesterday, bought new pillows for after the op, rearranged the people i care for (adults with learning disabilities live here - it's my job) - head off to hospital, very anxious about the anaesthetic. Nurse comes at 7.15, 'you're 1st on the list, so will go down about 8.30am' takes my blood pressure, fills in forms, the anaesthetist comes in and says what the risks are, then surgeon comes in does the same - 'see you in a while' It gets to 9.15am, i ask 'is there an issue, they said i was the 1st one' - 'oh, sorry' another nurse says, 'your appt has been cancelled' - erm, ok, if there are patients there with a higher need, then i can do that. 'When will i get my op?' - 'Saturday, the hospital will call you later this afternoon' - did they call? Nope! So, i called them and spoke some poor person who obviously gets this a LOT. They told me they have booked me in for Feb 22nd, erm, i need it this week, i have a lot of people to consider and i can't mess vulnerable people about every 5 minutes. Surgeon could do Saturday, but is already over booked - I don't really want to go under their knife if they are overbooked - so cancelled altogether. I will force my arm myself, i will do physio 5 times a day, every day until it's freed itself - seems the wiser choice - what a system! and those poor people on the phone taking jip for the shortfalls of others, give them a payrise.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Salisbury District Hospital

Thank you for getting in touch; we are sorry to hear of your inconvenience and upset.

It is always a difficult decision to cancel planned operations, and not one we take lightly.

We appreciate all the preparations that have to be made by patients to ensure they are able to make the date, and also the mental preparation followed by disappointment on cancellation.

We’ve shared your story with the teams concerned so we can look at how to improve communication, both with patients and across the organisation in situations such as this.

May we reassure you that theatre lists are not overbooked; patient safety is at the centre of everything we do and although we would have tried to accommodate you Saturday’s list, it would not have been to the detriment of yours or another patients procedure.

We are grateful that you have highlighted your experience and hope that this has addressed some of your concerns.

However, please feel free to get in touch on customercare@salisbury.nhs.uk or 0800 374208.

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