"Long wait!"

About: Southmead Hospital

I went to day surgery for a planned operation on 24/7/14. Arriving at 06.50hrs I was left waiting over an hour before being given a cubicle with just a hard uncomfortable chair. I was informed I was second on list then an emergency came in - which I understand should take priority At 11.00hrs I was told to change into gown which I didn't do as I had a feeling I would have a long wait! I had not had a sip of water since 06.00hrs. I asked 6 people including my surgeon for a drink as it was a hot day - no drink arrived I was then informed at lunchtime I may have to go home and wait for another appointment due to time constraints. I was angry having waited a year in agony and taking morphine based analgesia for all that time. Eventually I was told the surgeon was going to work until 8pm operating. I was relieved but also felt sorry for him having to work such long hours I was eventually taken to theatre at 18.15hrs 12hrs after having a sip of water. Luckily my op was a success and I was discharged the next day with no take home analgesia The staff and surgeon were kind and apologetic it was not their fault but the fault of south meads system. I think the hospital was opened far too early before systems procedures and protocols were finalised.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for taking the time and trouble to feedback on your experience at Southmead hospital. I am pleased that you were able to have your elective surgery. I am sorry that you were nil by mouth for so long. Unfortunately the situation you describe meant that the exact timing of your operation was constantly being revised in response to emergencies and other operations taking longer than expected. The reason for keeping a patient nil by mouth is for patient safety where a general anaesthetic is used, but I regret that staff did not respond to your enquiries, or provide you with some swaps to keep your mouth moist. Please be assured that if the clinical staff were worried about dehydration they would have asked for fluids to be given via a drip. When elective lists are planned the lists are planned with the expectation that some emergencies will arise based on historical data. When unfortunately emergency admissions exceed the planned for levels then elective lists will be affected, however capacity has not been reduced by the closing of Frenchay. I hope that you make a swift recovery following your surgery. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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