"Cancelled surgery at Royal Adelaide Hospital"

About: Royal Adelaide Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

This story relates to my Mother who is 83 years old and unlikely to find this website. She has a tumour on one of her kidneys and it needs to be removed. She was booked in for surgery recently and was told that she would be in hospital for 8 to 10 days. She took all of the standard steps for being away from home, such as using up all of her perishable food and making sure her bins were empty and the house was secure. She was told to be at the hospital by 7am, which required my sister to get up at around 5am so that she and her husband could pick up Mum and take her to the hospital on time.

The trio dutifully arrived well before the prescribed time and the admission process was commenced, gown on (nerves jumping) as she prepared for a major operation.

Then someone said that this Surgeon was actually in Queensland, which supposedly everyone knew as it was in my mother’s notes and questioned why she been booked in at this time.

Needless to say, my Mother was in tears, my sister was also very distressed and my brother-in-law was very angry. There are signs all over the hospital about the safety of the staff and violence will not be tolerated, but I can understand in these circumstances if someone was hurt; no one was.

The good in this story is that the 4 hours spent at the hospital a few days earlier had been full of confidence about the procedure, my mother met all of the staff involved and my sister even asked the question regarding the fact that this was to be a long weekend and "will everyone be here? "

It could have been better if someone in the group had noticed in the "notes" that the Surgeon was going to be away, so there was little point in making any arrangements for the day in question. This would have moved the delay, forward by one week and I might not be posting this message.

There can be few feelings about the 'care' because none was given. The whole family, however, feel some fairly strong feelings against the medical team involved with this "circus". I find it difficult to believe that ensuring that the surgeon is available is the first thing that is performed when scheduling surgery for the following day. I am sure that there are many logical reasons that could be offered in relation to this 'stuff up', but how will my Mother ever be compensated for the emotional grief that has been endured as a result of this day? What sort of apology will be sent to my sister and her husband for all of the hard work that they have done in preparing for this day?

We could all understand if a more urgent case arose between setting the time for the surgery (Thursday afternoon) and the time of the surgery (Friday morning), but to forget that the surgeon is away is, in my opinion, inexcusable. I do not begrudge the surgeon the opportunity to take time off, but the whole staff apparently knew the surgeon wasn't going to be there and yet no one appeared to do anything about it. I think this is disgraceful!

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