"Surgery cancelled three times"

About: Charing Cross Hospital / General surgery St Mary's Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was scheduled for stage 2 of a surgical procedure at Charing Cross Hospital at the end of may however I was contacted by the admissions team two days before the surgery to inform me that the procedure had been cancelled due to the lack of available medical staff.

I was told that the ward I was supposed to be admitted to will no longer be available for surgeries for a period of time and my only option was to be admitted at St Mary’s Hospital instead.

I was then given by the admission team June the 10th at St Mary's as a provisional date, then postponed to a few days later and then postponed again. I understand that all these continued cancellations were due to the lack of available staff.

Finally the admission team called again to inform me that one of the previous dates offered to me, then postponed, was indeed available and I was due at St Mary's early in the morning.

At my arrival at the hospital I discovered that I was scheduled as the last patient of the day and the staff were not aware of the fact that my surgery had been cancelled several times already.

Unfortunately, after waiting 11 hours at the hospital I was told by one of the surgeons that my operation was to be rescheduled as the previous surgery took longer than expected.

The surgeon also said that they would treat my case as a priority and reschedule in a timely manner. After contacting the local PALS I was told today that the next available date for the surgery is at the end of June. A further two weeks delay.

Since stage 1 of the procedure I was left to manage an open wound and, due to the continued cancellations, I am now scheduled for surgery over a month after the original date in May.

I am aware of the NHS 28 days standard however the PALS adviser confirmed that this refers to "last minute cancellations" only, I. e. cancellations on the day of the surgery, which in my case applies from June. All the previous cancellations have no bearings for the 28 days standard.

These delays are causing a great deal of stress, pain and frustration.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is concerned about your posting on NHS Choices and wishes to apologise to you for your cancelled surgery at Charing Cross Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital. We would really like to speak to you and be able to look into this further. In the meantime I have forwarded your posting to the service managers for Surgery. Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can be contacted on either 0203 312 7777 or email pals@imperial.nhs.uk

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