"My spinal surgery has been cancelled twice"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was due to have an urgent microdiscectomy operation on my spine in early January 2015 at Newcastle RVI but it was cancelled due to an emergency and rearranged for early February.

In early February, I attended the hospital on the afternoon before surgery was due to take place, got settled into my bed without any problems and I was 'Nil by Mouth' from midnight that night. I was prepared for surgery early the following morning and told to wait. It wasn't until 3. 45pm later that day that I was told that my operation had been cancelled for the second time. This was due to another operation which had taken longer to perform than anticipated and my surgeon had basically run out of time so I was told to go home.

I was not given a rescheduled date for my operation, in fact I've not had any correspondence initiated by my consultant or his team. I have rang various people and been given the run-around. I've been in touch with PALS and even they can't seem to get any answers.

It's been over 28 days since my operation was cancelled and still no word. I am of the understanding that patients whose operations are cancelled at the last minute, and who are not offered a new date that falls within 28 days of the original operation, may select a hospital of their choice at which to receive surgery. Is this true?

Because of the lack of information and care, I have resorted to writing a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive of the hospitals trust and expect some kind of written apology/acknowledgement and a hopefully a new date for my surgery soon, I will not hold my breath!

I've mentally prepared myself for months as its quite a painful procedure, I had a similar operation on 2010 and know what to expect, its not pleasant! ! ! . I've had a lot of time off work sick because of my condition and I am worried that because this is dragging on for so long will it will have a decremental effect on my career prospects. I feel stressed, worried, and extremely disappointed by the NHS. I feel nobody cares about me and I really don't know what to do next.

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Responses

Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Patient Opinion. We are very sorry to note that your surgery has now been cancelled twice. Please be assured that we do all that we can to avoid cancelling operations at short notice as we understand the inconvenience, stress and disappointment that this can cause. Due to the nature of the surgery and skills of the surgeon, emergency patients who get admitted do sometimes have to take priority due to their clinical need at the time.

As you have provided quite specific details about your care, we are able to confirm that we have received your complaint and this is being dealt with by our Patient Relations Departments who will have been in contact with you. If you require any information about the complaints process or the current state of your case, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Patient Relations Team on 0191 223 1382.

Once again, we are very sorry that you have had cause to make a complaint about your care.

Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

The following response was posted on Patient Opinion in March when this review was originally posted: Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Patient Opinion. We are very sorry to note that your surgery has now been cancelled twice. Please be assured that we do all that we can to avoid cancelling operations at short notice as we understand the inconvenience, stress and disappointment that this can cause. Due to the nature of the surgery and skills of the surgeon, emergency patients who get admitted do sometimes have to take priority due to their clinical need at the time. As you have provided quite specific details about your care, we are able to confirm that we have received your complaint and this is being dealt with by our Patient Relations Departments who will have been in contact with you. If you require any information about the complaints process or the current state of your case, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Patient Relations Team on 0191 223 1382. Once again, we are very sorry that you have had cause to make a complaint about your care.

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