"Cancelled Operations"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Neurosurgery

(as the patient),

I have had two craniotomy operations cancelled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The first cancellation I was informed a day before and was told there was not enough beds. I was immediately given another date which was 29 days later. On the day of admission I waited by the phone all day, and per instructions telephoned the ward if I had not heard anything. They seemed surprised that I had called because the nurse manager should have telephoned to cancel due to my bed being given to an emergency patient. The manager telephoned two hours later to apologise and that a new date would be issued within 2 days.

After 2 days I telephoned my consultants secretary and was informed no date had been allocated. I was put through to allocations who said she would discuss this with my consultant and allocate. She promised to ring back on the same afternoon. Still no call the following day. Further calls were made with me leaving voice messages or going unanswered.

I am on that much medication I can barely walk and certainly have very little energy to chase for treatment. My brother took over the battle and got a date for next month, 35 days after the last cancellation. I'm one that never complains and just sits in the background accepting everything.

My condition is known as suicide syndrome due to the immense pain from the trigeminal nerve. I certainly know why this is the name and with the severe lack of understanding from the hospital and having to wait so long, this is a considerable option.

I have been told about the 18 week rule and also that cancelled operations should be rebooked within 28 days. Neither of mine have. Should I just be satisfied that I have a new date or try and get the strength to pray they don't cancel a 3rd time?

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Response from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

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

We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We are very concerned to hear about the cancellation of your operation and the difficulties this has caused you. This is certainly not the type of experience we would want anyone to have as a patient under our care. We strive to provide the highest standard of care possible and we are very sorry that we were not able to conduct your operation as planned. Operations are unfortunately cancelled for a variety of reasons which are often outside our control. We do however work hard to ensure that no-one is cancelled unnecessarily. Where we do have to cancel a patient at short notice we aim to make contact as soon as possible to explain why, and to advise what will happen next. We are very sorry that this does not seem to have happened when your operation was cancelled for the 2nd time.

We hope that you have now been given a new date for your surgery, and that it will go ahead smoothly without further problems. If this is not the case, or you have any concerns please make contact with our PALS team who will look into this on your behalf.

You can contact PALS by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 10-4pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to post your comments on the Patient Opinion website.