"Back Operation"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I arrived at Aberdeen ARI at 10.00 as required after being up from 05.30 to have a light breakfast prior to 06.00. Being diabetic it was important to have something to eat prior to maybe a long day without food.

After waiting some time the nurse said “the surgeon would like a word”

The word being “we haven’t got a bed for you”

I couldn’t believe that the hospital system is still not able to predict situations as they develop.

A call the day before would have saved the effort of arranging a kennel for our dog (my wife is disabled and can’t look after her). Driving her 40 miles round trip plus cost of fuel,  cost of 2 nights board (£30).

My granddaughter is coming from Edinburgh (train cost) and has taken time of work at loss of earnings.

We had arranged via the council extra care for my wife and neighbors had agreed to come and check on her when my granddaughter wasn’t there.

I was given no indication of when I would be next contacted and no likelihood of when the surgery would happen.

The surgeon seemed at a loss to offer any words of encouragement and seemed at a loss to influence the bed allocation.

If I had been notified the day before a lot of this waste of time, cost and effort could have been avoided.

Even the same morning would have helped and saved my neighbor driving me in.

I think that this situation is extremely bad and I overheard other people talking about long waiting times.


Response from Linda Oldroyd, Chief Nurse for Surgery, NHS Grampian

picture of Linda Oldroyd

Dear Kdrsalar

I am very sorry to read of the events you describe. I understand that getting organised to come into hospital for an operation is not an uncomplicated task. Unfortunately we do admit patients to all specialties 24 hours per day and the bed picture can change unpredictably. We use the best predictions we have on admissions and discharges to help us to understand how much elective activity we can undertake but things do not always work out as we would wish. last minute cancellations only happen when we have exhausted all possibilities of managing emergency admissions.

It may be that you were earmarked for a bed in an area where higher acuity patients are cared for such as Surgical High Dependency or Intensive Care. If that were the case it may may have been those beds which were in short supply on that day.

I am very sorry that this has happened to you but unfortunately, in some situations, cancellations cannot be avoided.

If you would like to contact me directly I can try to find out about the rescheduling of your surgery.

I can be contacted by email at loldroyd@nhs.net or by telephone on 01224 553664

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