" Third Time Lucky at Wakefield? Unfortunately not"

About: Pinderfields General Hospital / Plastic surgery

(as the patient),

I received an admissions letter for Sunday March 2007 to the Regional Burns Unit, and was required to ring beforehand to check bed availability. I rang twice and got two different answers - yes and no. I decided to take a chance and turn up, as two friends had arranged to acompany me in their car. After being kept waiting for an hour I was told there was no bed due to lack of theatre space. The next letter asked me to attend end of April 2007 at 9am but again required me to ring one hour. To make this possible I would have to be half an hour into the journey (of 80 miles). I rang therefore at 7.30 am before leaving home and was assured the bed was there. On arrival I was shown to an individual ward.. Imagine my excitement, would this be it? After an hour a registrar told me that due to lack of theatre space my operation had been cancelled but it would go ahead the Wednesday of the following week but wait for telephone confirmation.

Disappointed and utterly fed up, both me and my friend returned to work. Again I packed my suitcase in readiness for the phone call but none came. I rang the waitinglist clerk the next day who deals with my consultant's patients , who promised to call back on Thursday 10 May after she had spoken to the surgeon. Needless to say no such call was received. Getting my hopes up three times in a row just to be dashed and the lack of communication has left me exasperated and very upset. I can't makes plans at home or work in case a bed suddenly appears along with the necessary theatre time. I know emergencies have priority but no-one on the Regional Burns Unit considers the stress involved in constantly being promised one thing then having to deal with the aftermath when it fails to materialise. Keeping patients informed would go some way in alleviating the on-going trauma and inconvenience that goes with this very poor experience. Should the registrar have promised the Wednesday admission? The waitinglist clerk did not seem to think so.

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