"Messed around by hospital"

About: Trafford General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

In anticipation of a knee operation at Trafford General Hospital, I’d had an MRSA test in April 2014 and a second time in May 2014 after the hospital had changed the way the MRSA test was carried out. I also had an aesthetic assessment in early August and attended an education group in late August where I requested the knee operation to be after mid September 2014 because of other health problems that I have and caring responsibilities that I have for a member of my family.

I soon received a letter with a date for a knee operation at Trafford General for just after mid Sept 2014. A week before the operation date I had a phone call asking if I could go in for the operation a day earlier.

6 days before my operation, I had a message on my answer phone from the hospital asking me to confirm my attendance at the operation date and to answer some questions and they left a number to phone them back. I tried to phone the hospital back a couple of times the following day (Saturday) but got the answer phone. I left a message saying I’d phone back on Monday and I wouldn’t be home on Tuesday morning. That Tuesday I received two answer machine messages, one about pre op drinks and one asking me to call the hospital and come in for some tests. I tried to phone them back after this but still got the answerphone. In the end, I phoned the hospital switchboard and was put through to the right department. I was told that even if I went in for the operation that day the results of the pre op tests wouldn’t be back in time for the operation. Mr Ismail said that all my tests were now out of date and that this meant there would be a risk of infection during an operation so they wouldn’t be going ahead with the operation date.

1 week after the operation was due to take place I received a letter from Trafford General asking me to confirm whether or not I still wanted to go ahead with the operation. It said the operation had not gone ahead due to either the patient “changing their mind or due to their condition changing without informing the hospital. ” The way it was worded implied that I was at fault for it not going ahead previously, like I had cancelled the operation.

The knock on effect of these delays is that I’ve had to cancel a dental operation I’ve been waiting a long time, more delays for another operation on my head, and delays for treatment for my legs. It’s also made it very difficult to arrange care for my grandson who has disabilities; his Dad had arranged to take time off work while I was having the knee operation.

A number, (0161 746 8162), I was given in letters for operation waiting lists doesn't appear to work, saying "the number has not been recognised" when dialled.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback posted on the NHS Choices and Patient Opinion websites. We are sorry to learn that your experience was not as positive as we would hope. It is important to us that comments are heard and seen as an opportunity provided to the service to make changes and improvements wherever possible.

I would like to apologise for the poor communication prior to you receiving your date for knee surgery. At the time of your contact, we were reviewing all patients on our surgical waiting list at Trafford Hospital. This was to ensure the information held on our waiting list was up to date and accurate, and to verify that everyone who was waiting still required surgery. The letter you received was an automated letter and it appears that unfortunately it crossed over with other communications that were being sent to you, regarding preparations for you to come in for your surgery. The telephone number provided in the letter was available for a limited period only whilst we undertook the review of the waiting lists. We sincerely apologise for the frustration and inconvenience caused to you and your family.

If you would like to discuss this with us in more detail, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8688 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk

The Patient Experience Team

Central Manchester University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust