"My mother's appalling experience of the breast unit"

About: North Middlesex Hospital / Breast surgery

(as a relative),

My 83 year old mother, who also has Alzheimers and other medical conditions, was sent for a biopsy.

The hospital said the biopsy was inconclusive because they didn't take enough tissue to examine. That's the first mistake. Why didn't they take enough in the first place? Still have no answer to that one.

Then they said they had to operate, so there was another trip to North Mid for the pre-op assessment. Then we get a date for the operation and there's another trip to North Mid yesterday.

Having fasted, got up early and arrived at the hospital early too, my mother is changed into hospital gown and sat in a waiting room for four hours. No communication about what was happening, no information or even sight of the consultant, some very kind but also some very unhelpful, uncaring, inconsiderate staff.

An unsympathetic, poorly trained (certainly in communication skills) young doctor came to tell us after sitting in a waiting room in a hospital gown for four hours that the op was cancelled. The doctor was quick to absolve themselves of any responsibility. It's not their fault, only just found out, it wasn't their decision, only the messenger etc etc. Dreadful service, dreadful doctor.

They only came to see us after I started to complain about the poor service. I asked a member of staff to bleep the doctor and she was reluctant to do it more than once when the doctor never came. I had to insist and plead with her colleague to make her do it again. It's a good job I did or my mother would still be sitting there.

I started complaining after about 2.5 - 3 hours, but no one ever came to explain anything to us until we'd been sitting there for just over four hours. Totally unacceptable, unprofessional and appalling way to treat people.

When the junior doc did arrive they said the op was cancelled because they had overbooked the list, but they didn't know who overbooked it. Really? I don't believe that. Also, they must have known prior to the day that it had been overbooked.

Why make me take an 83 year old woman through all that fasting and sitting there for no reason when they could have at least cancelled it the day before? Dignity for patients? Forget it. Putting the patient first? Forget it.

Dreadful experience, dreadful service.

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