"Cancelled surgery procedure"

About: Countess Of Chester Hospital

I was due to have planned surgery on 7.1.16 for admission at 11.30am but I received a call at 4.50pm on 6.1.16 to cancel it due to no beds. I called the admissions team a week later for an update and when the system was checked I had not been allocated an alternative date. They gave me another date of 22.2.16 for my procedure again to be admitted at 11.30am.

A little over a week before this date I received a letter to say that due to 'circumstances beyond our control' the date had to be amended to 24.2.16. No explanation was given as to what these circumstances were.

At 4.55pm om 23.2.16 I received a call again to cancel my procedure due to no beds, no alternative date was provided at this time. If there are no beds the hospital must have know prior to almost 5pm in the evening. These cancellations put necessary strain on the patient and increase their stress, my wife has had to change her days off on each occasion and it has caused problems as my employers have had to change the arrangements made. They are understanding but for how long?

I know the NHS is under massive strain as I work for an NHS trust but I have been under my consultant for 3 years and surgery was decided on in October 2015 and they have been extremely supportive and full open and honest with me each time I have seen them but I feel I have now been let down by others. I contacted the PALS team for advice and they stated that they could not give dates etc which I understand but they would add my details to a report of patients who had contacted them following cancelled appointments/admissions. They checked my details on the system to see what classification my procedure was marked as, it was down as 'priority urgent'.

I was left speechless.

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Response from Countess Of Chester Hospital

Dear Sir

Thank you for your message.

I would like to offer you my sincere apologies for the distress you have experienced.

We know that this situation is unacceptable and that it is extremely distressing and frustrating for patients and staff alike.

I wish to reassure you that staff do everything possible to avoid postponing patients' surgery.

I know from your message that you have already spoken with the PALS team and that they will have explained to you the difficulties we are experiencing due to the significant volume of patients who have had to be admitted to hospital recently.

I also wish to reassure you that the PALS team do pass on patient's details to the relevant surgical management team to see if they can be offered a new date for surgery as soon as possible.

I understand from your message that you have done this and I hope you will receive a new date for surgery soon.

If you have any further queries, please contact the PALS team again on Freephone 0800 195 1241 and select option 2, and they will be able to provide you with further assistance.

Yours sincerely

The Patient Experience Team

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