Cancelled ops are a scandal

PUBLISHED: 10:24 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

I read with great interest Hannah Gray s Last Word of November 16, and also the article about Mrs Hogg s cancelled operation. I have personal experience of this problem and feel that it is much more serious than the East & North Herts Trust will admit. My

I read with great interest Hannah Gray's Last Word of November 16, and also the article about Mrs Hogg's cancelled operation. I have personal experience of this problem and feel that it is much more serious than the East & North Herts Trust will admit.

My hip replacement was scheduled for October 5 at QEII, so I arranged everything, including having a temporary person to replace me at work, and my son booking enough holiday to look after me at home post-op.

I duly arrived and was admitted and after sitting in a theatre gown for four hours, I was told my operation had to be cancelled, due to non arrival of the equipment from Lister.

I was pretty devastated, but went home and cancelled all the arrangements. The operation was then re-scheduled for October 19 so I put everything in place again and went off to QEII.

After yet again sitting in a theatre gown for another four hours, my operation was cancelled, due to faulty equipment from Lister this time. The appalling waste of time for surgeon, theatre staff, nurses and admin staff is beyond belief. It was very embarrassing for me to have to tell my company that everything was cancelled yet again. This, to say nothing of my own mental state, I have to admit, I did break down the second time.

I cannot for the life of me see any logic in this move to close the sterile unit at QEII. It has not worked since day one, according to the surgeon who eventually performed my operation, and operations are cancelled on a regular basis. How can this be cost effective when all the skilled and dedicated people are unable to perform their duties and so much time is wasted?

Thankfully, my operation was carried out at the third attempt, on October 26 and I am making a good recovery. My thanks go to all the wonderful people at QEII who looked after me so well and made up in a small way for the awful stress of two cancellations!

Mrs HILARY BIRD, Warren Close, Letchworth Garden City

* "Woman's op ordeal", I would like to quote the third paragraph: 'After being given an epidural, taken into the operating theatre and turned into her side ready for the procedure, she was told the operation would have to be cancelled as when the instruments were opened they were found to have dried blood on them.'

I believe that you have just opened up a serious issue with regards to the procedures in the operating theatres. Shouldn't the instruments be ready first before giving Mrs Hogg the epidural? I just hope that what was described in the QEII hospital is not the norm throughout the country.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD

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