About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

(as the patient),

What I liked


What could be improved

Relative attended for gynacology surgery. Had been told to ring beforehand to check that there was a bed available. Told there was a bed, so attended. Waited 2 hours and was then told no bed available. This is the second time this has happened. My relative was then informed she would be offered a further appointemnt within 28 days, despite the fact she was informed in December 2009 the surgery was an urgent procedure. Another patient there was on her 4th attendance with no bed again available.

My relative is a vulnerable 88 year old woman who is clearly suffering and in pain. She has a vulnerable 90 year old husband at home who needs to be cared for when she is in hospital. She has been told that patients are assessed by priority, which is fine, but don't tell her to attend when there's no bed. Furthermore, by having this policy, she will ultimately never get to the top of the list because there will always be people worse off than her despite her continued pain.

In addition, she has had one pre med appointment which will now likely be out of date. No further pre med appointment has been offered.

Despite a complaint being made to PALS at the time the only response received was that it was a bad system, but there was no plan to change it.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for your comments and feedback regarding your relative's experience. We are sorry that due to bed availability her admission is to be rescheduled. We hope that at the time the presures the Hospital was experiencing were explained, but we accept that the resultant cancellations are distressing and we are sorry and apologise. Should you wish to make a formal complaint please contact our Customer Services Team on tel: 01279 827084 or email: complaints@pah.nhs.uk who will look into your concerns further.

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