"Gallbladder removal - 2nd operation cancelled"

Over the last 2 weeks I have had my operation cancelled twice, I was nil by month for nearly 20hours on each occasion and 5hours without water to then be moved from the admissions lounge to ward 726 and then when I am due to go down to theatre at 4 o'clock they come and tell me at 4.30 that it has been cancelled as they have run out of theatre time. . I can understand that the QE is the main hospital for transplants and my op was cancelled to save another persons life but I think better planning of theatre time and staff is required. I was told that there are 2 theatres and unfortunately I keep being booked into the one for the transplants which means I have to be cancelled. Enough is enough, as it is impacting on my mental health as each time I build myself up for the operation, the nerves of how am I going to be afterwards and everything that runs through your head before an operation?! It is having an impact on my job as I am unable to plan and I am continuously rearranging meetings and having to cancel them. I have been rebooked in again for next week, fingers cross it is 3rd time lucky.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Dear Melissa,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

We are sorry to hear about the experience you describe as this falls short of the standard of care we aim to provide. The Group Manager responsible for the speciality treating you has provided this response;

We are very sorry for the distress and inconvenience caused by the cancellation of your planned procedure on two occasions - this is not the experience that we wish patients to have within our service.

Every effort is made to plan our theatre lists with the correct type of operations for the time available, however the emergency nature of transplantation and variation in length means that despite this cancellations unfortunately do occur. We assure that the decision to cancel is only taken after all other options for the operation going ahead have been explored. All patients who have been cancelled are reviewed daily and a plan put in place to rebook their surgery as soon as possible. The team discuss this weekly to monitor the situation for individual patients. There is also work ongoing to ensure theatre time is used in the most efficient way, and some extra weekend theatre lists have been put on to ensure patients who have been cancelled are operated on as soon as possible.

We hope this information is helpful; if you would like to discuss your concerns further, the Group Manager would be very happy to speak to you directly. Please make contact via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be pleased to put you in touch.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 4400, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.