Lots of great reactions to my post yesterday about my experiences with the NHS.
I contacted a nurse who works at the BRI, but will remain anonymous, and got them to read it. They were just as nice as all the staff I’ve talked to before, and very sorry about my situation. It was interesting that the thing that really got them about my post was how a patient has to put their life on hold before going in, and the stress and frustration it causes when the operation is cancelled through no fault of their own. I guess when you see 10, 20, 50 people a day you just don’t have time to consider their lives outside of the immediate medical problem.
They did say one thing that was interesting – “we’re always open to ways to doing things differently”. That got me thinking about ways they could do things differently.
Ok, here’s one very simple thing:
How about you pre-warn the patient that their operation *might* be cancelled. Or, even that there’s a high probability that it *will* be cancelled?
That way we can plan better, and we won’t feel as crushed as we do when the rug is once again pulled from under our feet. I naively had no idea it was even a possibility when I rocked up for my first cancelled surgery.
Take a look at this photo – it’s all the info I’ve been sent about my operation.
Here are the headings on the pamphlets: Requirements for admission, Moving to the discharge lounge, Hospital acquired thrombosis, Pressure ulcers – everyone’s business, Your visit to the Pre-operative Department (POD), Keeping patients warm, The management of pain after surgery, Keeping an eye on your alcohol use, You and your anaesthetic.
It’s all about what *you* need to do to make this happen.
Not once, in any of the literature is there a single mention that your operation might be cancelled.
Not once in my surgical consultations was it ever mentioned to me that the operation being cancelled was even a possibility.
Being given hope, only that have it taken away, is a kind of psychological torture, and it needs to be recognised more openly by the NHS.