"Delays in getting my operation"

About: Crawley Hospital / Gynaecology East Surrey Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

In May 2012 I attended Crawley Hospital (Day Surgery), where my appointment was promptly made and the staff were excellent. I was told I would know within 3 months of surgery if all was well.

In the first instance my recovery was excellent, but just after 3 months later I was in agony and bleeding heavily. It took 2 months to see my consultant, during which time I was in pain and bleeding pretty much every day (this continues).

I am under the care of the same consultant but now require major surgery at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. I explained to the consultant during consultation that when I had recovered from the original surgery in May I had booked a holiday for November, believing the surgery to have been a success. She suggested I have the major surgery immediately upon my return. However, the date offered was the week before my holiday; as my condition was pre-existing, costs were not covered by my travel insurance and I would have been unable to fly after surgery.

The surgery was re-booked, but instead of December as requested it was booked for January. This was cancelled the day prior to surgery, due to noro-virus and has again been re-scheduled for a month hence. I was warned that the surgery may well be cancelled again.

So much for the NHS 18 week standard which is set for for assessment and treatment.

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'Corky40'

I'm sorry to hear you needed further surgery and also to hear about the delay in your surgery. I hope that your holiday was nice and that you were not too uncomfortable.

I understand your reluctance to cancel your holiday and it was very unfortunate timing that when your operation was rescheduled, it was necessary for the safety of patients to cancel the planned operations on a couple of days due to norovirus. I know it must be very frustrating for you, but I hope you understand that we wouldn't want to expose you to norovirus by bringing you into the hospital at a time when quite a few other patients had norovirus, and also because beds in bays next to patients with symptoms are not used to help prevent spreading.

East Surrey Hospital does meet the 18 week target in usual circumstances, but unfortunately because safety is always our number one priority, bugs such as norovirus have a serious impact on the hospital. Winter is always a challenging time for hospitals, and this year norovirus has had a tremendous effect on hospitals up and down the country. I hope your operation goes well and you feel better very soon.

Patient Opinion is an anonymous feedback. If you feel like you would like to discuss this further, please can I suggest our Patient Advice and Liaison service (PALs). You can contact them by telephone: 01737 231958, email: pals@sash.nhs.uk or by writing to: PALS at East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 5RH.

I hope you feel better after your operation,

Eloise Clarke.

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