"3rd world hospital"

About: The Royal London Hospital

Absolutely shocking experience. I needed an op to remove pressure on my sciatic nerve. I had a discectomy years ago but scar tissue etc meant my left side from the waist down is extremely painful I have been in the system for almost 2 years now. I have now had 3 successive cancellations. The first cancellation was because the surgeon was going on holiday. The second cancellation was due to a camera fault on the equipment. I was given a days’ notice on both occasions. Each cancellation equals roughly a month in between. I was finally admitted on 16th July at 10.30am. I saw the registrar at noon and signed the consent form. I was then told there wasn’t a bed but as soon as one became available all would be well. 12 hours later, even though a room was available I was still waiting for the operation. My husband of course asked staff what was going on but we were consistently fobbed off being told that one patient was having problems with anaesthesia, surgeon still in surgery etc. At no point did I have a wrist strap attached, my blood pressure taking or any of the normal ‘meetings’ one associates with an operation on the day. At 23.20 last night we were advised to stay overnight as ‘getting a bed was the key to getting operated on’ even though it might not happen for days. At this point the ace guilt card was played in that the Royal London is the biggest trauma unit in Europe and often had to drop elective surgery at short notice. Given we had been told on numerous occasions that our surgeon didn’t undertake elective procedures on any other day other than a Thursday we opted to free the bed for someone more prepared to sit and block a bed. We are now trying to get through to admissions and just get the answer phone. My recommendation to anyone having elective surgery at Royal London is don’t bother. I have now lost complete faith in the NHS and as for the Royal London, this has to be in the top 5 of worse run hospitals in the system. God forbid if there are worse. It is beautiful, new and shiny and the staff are pleasant enough but as for helping those, most of whom have waited many months and in great pain, it just isn’t fit for purpose. Quite frankly you would get a better service at your local vets. I am now writing to the complaints division of the NHS - PALS, copying the prime minister and my local MP as while it will get me nowhere they need to know just how truly awful it is.

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Response from The Royal London Hospital

Dear Jenny We are very sorry to hear of your experience and that your operation has been cancelled on three occasions. Please accept our sincere apologies for this. We note that you mention that you will be contacting our PALS Team and if you haven’t already done so already the contact details for PALS on 020 3594 2040 or by email: pals@bartshealth.nhs.uk. Please do get in touch so that we are able to look into the concerns you have raised here. Your review has been sent to the team at The Royal London to see. Kind regards Barts Health NHS Trust

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