"No calls, no operation and no one seems to care"

About: Tameside General Hospital

My partner is 82 years old has an MBE and has given to others his whole life – for years he has volunteered with Age UK and also helped run a group for adults with learning disabilities for over 25 years. Sadly he now has Alzheimer’s but still enjoys his life. I am his partner and carer. I too am disabled but together we manage to live without support from others. Neither of us have children, its just the two of us. In February this year he was scheduled to have a hip replacement operation at Tameside Hospital. On the day of the surgery we attended the ward, had all the checks done and everything was fine. I walked with him to the operating theatre, kissed him goodbye and went back to our home in Royton, Oldham to await the call from the hospital. As soon as I arrived home the hospital called and asked me to return, the operation had not gone ahead. The reason? Deep inside his file it stated his sister was his next of kin not me. Tameside were aware of our personal circumstances and that I was his acting power of attorney too. His sister had emigrated to Australia 52 years previously and they had not seen each other since. I explained this but it made no difference the operation had been cancelled inside the operating theatre – checks on the ward previously had not unearthed this now important issue. I was then contacted by the Independent Mental Capacity Service based in Warrington. Tameside had asked them to intervene and I was contacted by lady called Rachel. She was appalled by what had happened and complained to Tameside. They then rescheduled the operation for mid March 2014. A week before the operation he was admitted into Oldham Hospital with a urine infection and catheterised – 2 days before the operation was due his consultant at Oldham deemed him ‘fit for surgery’ and arrangements were made for his transfer to Tameside the next day for his surgery. On the following morning a nurse found a small pressure sore at the top of his leg ( he did not have this on admission I may add!) and informed Tameside who then immediately cancelled his operation for the 2nd time. This upset us both very much. I called the consultant's secretary at Tameside – it was an answer machine so I left message asking her to call me. I then called PALS at Tameside and again another answer machine so I left a further message. Throughout the week I have left countless messages. No one has got back to me. And for the whole week my partner has remained in Oldham Hospital with no news on his surgery. I have contacted his GP to make a referral to Oldham to do the hip replacement operation, as they have said he is fit for surgery he has done this – but still nothing has happened. No calls, no operation and no one seems to care.

Story from NHS Choices

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