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DS surgery cancelled 1 hour before admission

36 replies

Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:18

I understand that they don't have a bed on the ward for him due to children from A&E being admitted. But they rang 1 hour before he was due to be admitted and 15 minutes before we were about to leave the house.

It's taken a year to get to this point with 3 lost referrals. We had 3 weeks notice for his surgery and I had to cause chaos for our booking office to rearrange 2 whole weeks worth of patients.

Thank god my boss is a saint and a parent herself.

I'm not sure of the point of this other than not losing my shit.

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AnotherEmma · 19/11/2019 12:21


It is shit. On the other hand it would have been even more shit if you had arrived at the hospital only to be turned away. Or even had DC admitted and waiting but then be told the operation couldn't happen. So it's little consolation but at least you found out before leaving the house.

Have they given you another date or not yet?

Could you and DC do something nice together this afternoon to cheer yourselves up - cinema or something?

Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:24

Thanks @AnotherEmma this is exactly what I needed to hear.

He's been rearranged for next Tuesday so poor work are trying to sort my diary out.

He's currently napping; DH is off as well so think we will head out somewhere as a family.

It's been such a build up to be let down at the last minute. I completely understand they were probably waiting to see if a bed became available.

At least next time he's on the morning list instead.

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Nicknacky · 19/11/2019 12:26

My daughters surgery was cancelled when she was gowned up and ready to go. Fasting a 20 month old twice wasn’t fun 😭.

These things happen though.

Aebj · 19/11/2019 12:30

It’s shit. My son had two attempts at having a surgery that he desperately needed. I think it was harder for me than him! After they said they had no surgery bed , for the second time , they did say they had a bed on the ward , they told us to sit on that bed until we could secure a surgery slot and an intensive care bed for after the surgery ( the joys of having a heart kid!) no help to you but his last surgery we were the annoying people that jumped the que. sorry.
It’s hard being so close yet so far . Hope you get a bed soon. Surgery day is stressful enough without it been cancelled . Hope you have someone with you to have a little cry.
Good luck for the next attempt

Excited101 · 19/11/2019 12:31

My cousins little boy was admitted 3 times for surgery, in the hospital, listened to the ‘there are risks with surgery’ chat 3 times before he actually got his surgery done. It is crap, you have my sympathies.

RandomWok · 19/11/2019 12:33

Poor you all that stress and it's been delayed. Rant away!

When my daughter was born I was rushed in for an emergency c section. My daughter was crashing. Both theatres were full so they had to pull the staff that were just about to start an elective section. The poor woman was on the table and everything. They had to leave her with a recovery nurse and come to me. I didn't even make it into the reserve theatre it was so urgent. They saved my child's life. It was touch and go for awhile.

When the poor lady was brought back with her baby I felt absolutely terrible what my situation had put her though. But needs must, my baby would have died if someone hadn't made the call to pull her theatre team.

But my point is you are allowed to be pissed off and annoyed. It's a shit situation for everyone involved.

Definitely another vote for you guys to spend the day together. Best wishes to you all.

Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:34

Oh @Nicknacky that's wins on the DC cancellation trump card! How long did you wait for it to be done? Luckily with him being on the afternoon list he was allowed breakfast. But next week it will be no food at all for the morning list.

@Aebj I tell you something come next Tuesday I'll be glued to that bed as soon as we get there. If we get that far! Hope your LO recovered wel.

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Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:36

@Excited101 and @RandomWok thanks for your messages.

The support on here is great. I was a tad worried I may get someone shooting me down.

I work in the NHS and I don't like letting my own patients down as well. So I've got that guilt and disappointment for my DS surgery.

Pretty glad I've listened to some inspiring podcasts recently otherwise I would be a puddle on the floor right now!

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ChasingRainbows19 · 19/11/2019 12:39

I'm so sorry but unfortunately it's very common this time of year. At least you didn't get to the hospital. My trusts asks parents to ring in a morning as a bed may be available in the eve but filled overnight you can't predict it and the sick ones will be the priority.

There are just too many sick kids in winter and not enough beds so the planned surgeries get cancelled. Happens every year thought it's getting much worse. My trust are currently on black which is the highest status which means we've no beds no movement and pretty much dire straits tbh! I've heard that there's very few paediatric beds in the country empty....

If someone is cancelled they do become a high priority at our trust but I won't deny the state the NHS is in And it is unacceptable but no one is listening until it affects them.
Hope it happens soon for you all.

Aebj · 19/11/2019 12:41

He will need more surgeries in the future, so let’s hope it’s not an urgent one next time!!! Looking at him you would never know he’s got a weird heart!
Good luck on Tuesday. Buy shares in tissues now!! You’ll get a good return on the day of surgery! Remember to drink lots of water and eat ( they do say something healthy but anything will do on the day to get through!!)
Good luck and take care of yourself .

CharlotteUnaNatalieThompson · 19/11/2019 12:45

Definitely rant away!

As a surgeon I've twice had to cancel patients who were prepped and ready to go (one my patient and one a colleagues patient as I needed her and her theatre team in with me). Both times because of unexpected complications. Both times I apologised to the patients myself, one by phone and one in person. I felt shit, but it was because of serious complications so needs must. The bed your ds should have had is being occupied by someone who needs it more, with that in mind it's worth trying to be thankful that's not him - easier said than done though when you're understandably stressed.

You'll know all this though, and it doesn't mean it's not ok to be pissed off and stressed. Fingers crossed next Tuesday happens as planned and he makes a straightforward recovery. In case you didn't know already, a patient cancelled on the day of surgery must be rescheduled within 4 weeks, so even if next Tuesday doesn't happen for whatever reason you won't be waiting indefinitely. Enjoy your family day and take care.

FixTheBone · 19/11/2019 12:47

Not that it helps you immediately, but....

The number of on-the-day cancellations has increased substantially in the last 10 years. Food for thought in the upcoming election.

I hate cancelling patients on the day, but I dnt think people realise how close to indefinitely shutting down all planned operating we actually are...

OrangeZog · 19/11/2019 12:51

I’m sorry you are waiting and appreciate it’s frustrating but try to see it as a good thing because it means it’s not life threatening. Having had one child who needed emergency surgery to be as quick as possible and despite getting it, she died. There was something quite reassuring about my other child being left to wait and wait and wait.

AnneLovesGilbert · 19/11/2019 12:51

That sucks OP Flowers

Glad your boss is being supportive.

Hope Tuesday goes to plan!

Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:53

@Aebj so you're a master at this! Good luck with all the future ops.

@ChasingRainbows19 I fully understand. If I'm to look at it really logically I'm more frustrated by the effect it's having on my patients than DS; he's clueless!

@CharlotteUnaNatalieThompson you sound like a lovely Dr. It's just been stressful worrying about whether he gets ill or not before the surgery, because he's a toddler and you know toddlers are runny and disgusting about 90% of the time lol. We also found out our neighbours son has mumps so we've been hoping he evaded that too.

If it gets pushed back another week it will be my birthday week and DH has booked to take me away but I think I have to be realistic and understand that may not happen and what will be will be.

Thanks again everyone for the backup x

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Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:54

Wow @OrangeZog so sorry to hear this. Can't even imagine what that must have been like xx

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Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 12:56

@FixTheBone I don't fancy your job much! I'm
Actually quite chuffed that I didn't shout or cry to the admissions person. I said I understood it wasn't her fault and I understood the reasons I was just disappointed.

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TheHootiestOwl · 19/11/2019 12:59

Sorry to hear that OP, it’s very frustrating when you’re so close.

I use to work as a bed manager so understand it from the other side. I’ve been the one refusing patients because we simply have no capacity. The patients waiting for beds in A&E take priority. I’ve had a queue of children in resus before now, waiting for beds, it can be really stressful trying to sort it out.

Of course when you’ve rearranged your life to come in and you think you’ve finally made it then you’re allowed to be pissed off. I hope you get back in soon. It’s just the worst time of year to be finding beds.

moita · 19/11/2019 13:01

So sorry OP. How stressful.

InACheeseAndPickle · 19/11/2019 13:01

Not the hospital's fault but still massively upsetting for you having done all the mental/emotional preparation and now being in limbo again. This is why I'm happy to pay more tax and put it into the NHS.

Haworthia · 19/11/2019 13:03

It’s really shit.

I was watching the BBC series “Hospital” a few months back, and a little girl had her heart surgery at Alder Hey cancelled as she was sitting in her gown on the bed waiting to be taken down to theatre. IIRC it happened to her twice like that.

So I know it’s not much consolation, but at least you hadn’t left the house 🙃

Worriedmum1511 · 19/11/2019 13:28

I've been on both sides of it. My son had a routine op cancelled due to an emergency but my daughter has been the emergency. It's awful for both sides.

Areyoufree · 19/11/2019 13:39

I remember my ex being on the waiting list for years for knee surgery. He was in constant, extreme pain. The amount of times he went for his preop and then the operation was cancelled for some technical reason - including them not being able to find his notes, and one time, having him down for elbow surgery by mistake - was utterly soul destroying. Each time he thought it could be the beginning of the end of his pain, and each time he was let down, and then back on the list for weeks / months.

Chefwifelife · 19/11/2019 14:52

Eurgh and now DH can only have off Tuesday and Wednesday. As opposed to this week he had 5 days off. So looks like it's all down to me on the recovery front. Sad

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gabsdot45 · 19/11/2019 15:24

My DD had open heart surgery this year. We were bumped twice before it went ahead.
The first time we had been at the hospital for 6 hours. The operation the surgeon was in had complications and went on much longer than hoped.
Second time a newborn was urgently transferred needing immediate surgery. That time we heard before we left home.
Third time lucky.
Thankfully we both had understanding jobs and flexibility.

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