"Telephoning the hospital in accordance ..."

About: Southampton General Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Telephoning the hospital in accordance with the letter informing me that my son (aged 11) is to undergo an operation he needs, to repair a hole going through to his brain from his ear canal. Unfortunately the department I contacted by calling could not confirm bed availability & responded by returning my call acknowledging that we can make our way to the hospital as there is a bed available for my son. This was at 10:30 hours when the requirements were that he must be at the hospital by 11:30 hours. Upon arrival at the ward we had a short wait until we were taken through to the bed allocated to him. The nurses we spoke to at this point were very nice, polite & professional.

What could be improved

Unfortunately that's the last of the compliments we have. As approximately 1 hour after sitting within the confines of the allocated bed space the person who had earlier returned my call saying that we were safe to make our way to the hospital was very apologetic as she said that she had made an error in not consulting the appropriate list in that their were insufficient theatre staff available & therefore the operation could not go ahead as there are serious safety issues. I feel that not enough had been done to make it possible for this operation to go ahead. I was very unsatisfied with this excuse & feel that there were other issues at the helm of this but was being palmed off with health & safety reasons. We explained that we had both (mum & dad) had to take holidays from our places of employment in order to accompany our son to this appopintment who had been on a prescribed course of medical treatment essential for the operation to go ahead. This was responded with the remark that when this occurs an alternative appointment is usually obtained within 28 days. This we took no solice from as our son became very upset at the prospect of going through this procedure again. My wife said to the nurses present that the date of this occurence / appointment was incidentally on the final day of the 18 week notice that the consultant had said that our son must have this operation.

Anything else?

Please improve all areas regarding what is stated above as our son deserves to be treated better. It is unfair that members of the public that rely upon the NHS that are under full time employment are messed about in this manner as the issues I have raised only have further ramifications in the work-place even in the most accommodating of employment establishments.

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thanks for your post, which we've passed on to the managers of our children's services. We're sorry to hear of the inconvenience and upset experienced by your family, and if you would like to get a further detailed response to this situation, we'd recommend getting in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison team on pals@suht.swest.nhs.uk or 023 8079 8498.

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