"Appointment cancelled at late notice"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / General Surgery

(as a relative),

Last year, my husband suffered a severe stroke. Since then, he has been diagnosed with gallstones and has to have his gallbladder removed. He is in constant pain, and has been in and out of hospital for months.

Recently, he had an ERCP carried out, as he also had jaundice. Because his health was so poor, the doctors said he was too high a risk to remove his gallbladder. At this time, he’d lost 4 stone and wasn’t well at all.

My husband is a very determined man, and he’s made huge improvements. He’s now doing very well at home. However, we are still waiting for a gallbladder appointment – he will need a CT scan and has to be referred to a specialist.

He’s been left in excruciating pain. He attended the hospital for a while but was sent home. We had a meeting with consultants in July to see if he could have his gallbladder removed, or if it was still too much of a risk. Just after the meeting, we were advised to come back and see the consultant. He advised us that my husband was still high risk, the operation would not be able to be carried out.

We heard nothing after that – in the end, I phoned the hospital in August and got through to a very kind secretary. She asked why we hadn’t had an appointment yet, and I replied I was unsure. When the appointment came in September, the consultant we saw couldn’t find my husband’s test results, and asked questions about things we’ve already discussed. It turns out it was a different consultant to whom we thought we were seeing, and there was information missing from my husband’s file.

After the meeting, the consultant did apologise for not being up to date. He also advised my husband should come back for another ERCP, and we were told we could have another outpatient appointment for the consultant we were supposed to see originally. By this point my husband had had enough, and he asked for the procedure to go ahead, despite the known risks.

We then had a CT scan appointment recently – however, I returned home that morning to find my husband very upset and distressed. It turned out that the appointment was cancelled at late notice. When we spoke to the pre-assessment department, we were told that because the operation is high risk, a date wasn’t set because an anesthetist was required.

I just feel we have been really let down. It turns out the consultant carrying out the pre-assessment has been off sick, and because of this our appointments have been delayed.

I must also say though that all the care in Ward 13 has been out of this world, and all the staff are really good. It’s just this one incident that has been poor. We appreciate that there has to be a waiting time, and we don’t like complaining. However, we have the next appointment booked in for October and we are concerned now that our next appointment may also be cancelled.

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Responses

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Susan Friel

Dear Energy18

I'm so sorry that your husband has had such a bad experience, and that you both have had additional worry due to the delays and set backs you describe.

It seems clear to me from the information you have give, that your husband's case is quite complex. Could I ask you to get in touch with us directly to allow us to more fully discuss the issues you have raised, so that we can try to help. If you could phone Christine McNeill, our patient affairs manager (through Hairmyres switchboard, tel number 01355 585 000), this will allow us to work with you and your husband to help as best we can.

Many Thanks

Susan

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