"Surgery cancelled twice, can they cancel again?"

About: Cumberland Infirmary / General surgery West Cumberland Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

The first time they cancelled, I was sat at the hospital when my surgeon told me they wouldn't operate due to me taking the contraceptive pill. They expressed concerns over me taking this when I met them a few months ago, but when I asked at my pre op if I should stop taking it they said I shouldn't. I was upset at the lack of communication between everyone meant that I couldn't have my surgery. Those who have had surgeries cancelled will understand how upsetting and frustrating it is.

I was given another appointment 8 weeks later. However 5 days before that surgery I get call explaining that my surgeon is in a meeting that day and my operation has been moved to later on this month.

Are they allowed to cancel again? Or are they allowed to cancel one more time?

I should point out, I've had two operations previously with a different surgeon with no issues about me being on the pill. It was first cancelled at west Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven, then secondly at the Cumberland infirmary in Carlisle.

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

We are very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via NHS Choices/Patient opinion website about your recent experience at both West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary.

The events that you describe about our administrative process are not our usual standard and were clearly very distressing for you; being treated this way is extremely frustrating and disappointing.

Without further investigation it is difficult to ascertain what went wrong with the communication process between your consultation and pre-operative assessment, and due to your anonymity I am unable to look into this any further at the moment.

If you are unhappy with what has happened you have the right to complain.

The PALS team (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) can help you through this process or put you in touch with the senior staff members who may be able to discuss your concerns with you.

They can be contacted on

• 01228 814008 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

We do value your feedback and I will share this with the relevant senior staff.

Once again please accept my sincere apologies for the poor experience resulting from the cancellation to your knee surgery.

Alison S-D

Patient Experience

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Update posted by Miss grumpy (the patient)

I did complain, I unfortunately missed their call twice, the last voicemail left at the beginning of August said they would try and call me again but I have had no further calls.

I would have pressed for a reply sooner however I'm not keen on dredging it all up again, especially since my operation has been cancelled for the second time.

I feel like complaining won't do anything about my situation, although I'd like to think that in doing so I've prevented this from happening to someone else!