"Still waiting for my hernia surgery"

About: St Richard's Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was booked into St Richards Hospital for surgery on my incisional hernia for March 2016 which was cancelled due to the junior doctors' strike. I assumed that given the fact I had already been waiting since December, I'm in a lot of discomfort and pain and I'm carrying my intestines around in front of me, I would be further up the waiting list, rather than just added to the bottom of it. I have now been re-scheduled for mid June, a further 3 months wait. I contacted PALS at the hospital to see if there was another option to have this done sooner and await a response. My hernia is quite large and feels like it wants to force itself through my skin. I cannot work or live normally with this problem and it is likely that when I mention to my employer the date of the re-scheduled surgery they will be no longer willing to accommodate me. I can't start a new job until this is resolved and I've recovered. I had planned my recovery and return to work but now this is looking increasingly like it will be August before I will be back to full health. The initial surgery that lead to the hernia was performed in Sept 2015, so that will be almost 1 year since I've been able to have a normal life. You prepare yourself both psychologically, and with life in general, for your surgery and plan for things to get back to normal. It's awful to be told these plans were pointless when your surgery is re-scheduled, but to find out you cannot begin your recovery for a further 3 months is devastating. I would have expected to have been re-scheduled for some time in the next couple of weeks and diaries would have been re-worked to accommodate those with cancelled surgeries, rather than pencilling them in at the end of the waiting list. I would like to know if there are any other options open to me, I would be willing to travel to any hospital that could fit me in if it was to end this nightmare. Can anyone advise what I could do further to help get my surgery soon?

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Response from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir,

We have spoken to our PALS team who have received your enquiry and are dealing with the issues you have raised. They said they have been in contact with you since your post and a full response with be with you shortly.