"Operation - no operation"

About: Halton Hospital / General surgery Warrington Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

My mother twice went into hospital ready for a planned operation and both times was sent home without the operation having been performed. The first time, after 5 hours, she was told the anaesthetist was taken sick (is there no back up / emergency anaesthetic cover?) and the second time a few weeks later when the operation was re-scheduled she was told that there was no doctor available. On this occasion, though the hospital has not had the decency to reply to my mother's or my letters, we surmise that there was a breakdown in communication as the bed on the Ward was ready for my mother but someone forgot to tell the doctor she was coming in (again, is there no back up for unforeseen eventualities?). It seems as though whenever there is any sort of problem the reflex is to cancel the operation rather than pull their fingers out to solve the problem. How to lose confidence in your local hospital - 2 cancelled operations, no response to written complaints! Would you expect someone to go back a third time with any degree of confidence in this service.

Patient's son

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