"Operation Cancelled - short notice"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / General Surgery Golden Jubilee National Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I was due to have my gall-bladder removed on the Monday at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow. On the Saturday at 3.00 pm I received a telephone call from a Senior Nurse from the ward to inform me that unfortunately due to a swab being omitted from my pre-op assessment in Aberdeen, so they would have to cancel my appointment. I asked if the swab could be taken in Glasgow prior to the operation but was told it would not be possible due to the timings of the results of the swab.

On the Monday, I went to ARI, the Consultant's secretary, rang the Central Waiting Times Team and went to the pre-op Assessment Ward to get the necessary swab taken. This was done the next day. I don't know whose mistake it was, but I don't think I should be penalised for the error.

I had put myself forward to have the operation out of Aberdeen (after discussion with the Consultant's secretary) as I was told it is not always possible to have the operation within the waiting times guidelines, even though the letter you receive states within 12 weeks.

I rang the secretary in mid April to find out where I was on the waiting list and she was a little surprised that I had not received any notification from the Central Waiting Times Team. Within the hour I received a phone call to say that I had a date for the operation in May.

As this appointment was cancelled through no fault of my own, today I rang the Golden Jubilee Hospital as Central Waiting Times Team had given me a date in early June. I find this unacceptable and have rang the Central Waiting Times Team as the Waiting Times Team in Glasgow were contacting Aberdeen to try to get me an earlier appointment. No one from the Central Waiting Times Team rang me back. I have just rang them to ask if they could find another appointment, informing them that they had forgotten initially in March.

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant, Person Centred Care, NHS Grampian

Dear Nektaria

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. I am very sorry that your original operation was cancelled, especially as you say, you had agreed to have it out with Aberdeen. It certainly seems that an error or omission occurred in that you did not have the appropriate swab done in a timely manner prior to travelling down to the Golden Jubilee. I know you feel that you are being penalised when the delay was not your fault but I am sure everyone is doing all they can to fit you in on the earliest possible date.

I can only answer for NHS Grampian but if you would like to contact me with your details I can try to find out more about why the swab was missed so that we can try to make sure this does not happen again. No one wants to waste patients’ time or staff time with this sort of mix up.

I can be contacted by telephone on 01343 567900 or by email at loldroyd@nhs.net

Kind regards and I hope your operation goes smoothly.

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Response from Christine McGuinness, Communications Manager, Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Dear Nektaria

First of all, apologies for the delay in responding to you.

We are sorry to hear that you have had a delay in getting your surgery at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

We pride ourselves on providing an atmosphere of continuous improvement and welcome all feedback, whether positive or negative, to offer the highest possible standard of care for all of our patients. As a national resource for NHSScotland it is also important that we learn how we can communicate more effectively with our partner NHS Boards.

As patient opinion is anonymous, we would be grateful if you could contact us to allow us to look into your case to ensure that your appointment has been rescheduled and to learn from your experiences for the future. If you can email your contact details to comms@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk we will be happy to call you to discuss this further. Alternatively, you can contact me directly on 0141 951 5195.

If you have any further enquiries or concerns, please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

Kind regards,


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