"Continued delays in surgery for my wife"

About: Countess Of Chester Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

I am emailing on behalf of my wife primarily, who has had a scheduled operation cancelled for the second time this year. I will give you a picture of her journey so far:

· Rushed into hospital in November 2012 where she spent 7 nights and after numerous tests and scans did NOT see a surgeon or any of his team even after being told she needed an operation to have her gall bladder removed.

· She attended an appointment in December where she was told she was on the emergency list but the operation is going to be in February

· So we both booked a week off work.

· She visited our local hospital in Wrexham due to the severe pain she was in where she was given antibiotics and pain relief again (due to working in Chester was taken to the Countess in the first instance and appreciate pbr and all the implications for hospitals but that isn’t my wife’s fault)

· A visit to the Countess hospital where more antibiotics were prescribed

· We have had to visit the A&E department twice at Chester hospital where the last time she was admitted again and spent the night on fluids and morphine for the pain

· We called last week to confirm the date for this week and was told that it would be mid-week at the latest.

· We have both booked another week off work

· We have now been told that there are no anaesthetists available for tomorrow or Wednesday morning and that the surgeon has two weeks off over Easter

· The next date my wife has been given is the end of April

Due to the nature of the operation she isn’t eating any foods containing even the smallest amount of fat, milk or anything that could cause any discomfort plus is taking Tramadol, ibruprofen, Omeprazole daily for the pain and is generally tired to say the least as you can imagine plus other prescribed medication.

Both employers are being very understanding up until now but my wife is going to be very close to losing her job at this rate.

The impact for my wife –includes loss of pay ( relationships in work are strained to say the least not helped by two operations dates being cancelled ), limits to function ( she has not been able to go to the gym, something she used to do three times a week ), quality of life and general socialising activities.

It can’t be good for her to be on Tramadol for another six weeks ( this will have to happen due to the pain )

I have asked the hospital if the surgeon works privately anywhere? if he is available to do the work and its the anaesthetist that isn't could they do the op at the private hospital and Chester pay for it?

As far as patient and family experience is concerned think you will agree is pretty poor and will after this week go over the 18 week target from her original referral, and would think the cost to the hospital ( tax payers ) will have been in the £1000’s.

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Response from Countess Of Chester Hospital

Dear Sir, We take all patient feedback very seriously and therefore we will use your comments to see what we got wrong. Please be assured that your comments have been shared with our Director of Nursing & Quality as well as our Divisional Director of Planned Care. Please feel free to contact the PALs Department on Freephone 0800 195 1241 and select option 2 or email cochpals@nhs.net to give us more information about your experience. This will also give us the opportunity to feedback to you personally regarding any improvements we have been required to make as a result of your comments. The Patient Experience Team

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