Wonderful NHS? Pah!

Well that was a complete and utter fuck up by the Royal Hospital, Liverpool.

I arrived for my operation at 6.55a.m last Saturday having fasted from midnight the night before. I had taken a small amount of water with my tablets at 6a.m that morning and that would be it until my operation.

My overnight bag contained underwear, slippers, hastily purchased pyjamas from Matalan the day before, Foamburst shower gel (new Lime and Grapefruit. Sounds good no?),concealer, tooth brush/paste,deodorant and a copy of Marie Claire with a free sample of St Tropez gradual tanner. Oh and some Chilli and Coriander Pea Snap thingys from M and S which sound awful but are really lovely. They were to be my little treat when I recovered from the aneasthetic.

My bag also contained a pair of Matalan's finest and largest knickers. More like bloomers really. They are slimming shorts and were my improvised version of cycling shorts which I was advised to wear post op.

So David and I get to the ward early. EARLY. My parents had come up from Manchester to help after the op and were looking after the boys.

I was immediately taken through by a nurse who hastily gave me some wipes, knitted knickers (yep them again) and a gown. Well two gowns actually as I had forgotten my own so had to wear two of theirs. Great. I asked what had happened to Hibiscrub and she explained that the wipes had replaced it. She then told me about a previous patient who had actually drunk the Hibiscrub. To be fair I'm not surprised given the lack of clear instruction.

I took myself to a bathroom and proceeded to use the wipes. I had no idea if I should use the whole pack. There were 8 fairly large wipes in the pack and I was starting to itch after the first 3 so I hid the rest in my bag. I then thought how expensive that would be to give every patient their own pack of 8 wipes and no wonder the NHS is in such a mess.

Wearing my double gown and slipper combo I sat down in the pre-op waiting room where only one other woman was present. It was 7.15a.m.

At 3.45pm I was still sat in the same waiting room absolutely famished, thirsty as hell and with a banging headache. It was then that Dr Chandreshakar came in with a nurse and explained that they wouldn't let him operate on me today and that it would have to be rescheduled.

Now let me tell you I was apoplectic with anger. And that's not a word I use or an emotion I feel very often but this occasion demanded it. Apparently they were short staffed and he explained that, although he was ready to operate, he didn't have a team around him to make it happen.

I was sat there in my 2 gowns, in my surgical stockings, with drawings on me indicating where to harvest the fat from and I was being told it wasn't going to happen. I'll be honest. I wanted to kill someone.

I had psyched myself up for this operation, I had sorted the time off from work, my parents had travelled up to help and it was an operation to ease my discomfort. And it was off. After 8 miserable hours I was being told to go home.

It wasn't the Doctor's fault. It was the fault of some faceless incompetent making decisions without care for the effects. I was devastated. Dr Chandreshakar asked the nurse to get us something to eat. I asked for 2 Ham sandwiches. One for me and one for David. She brought back a Tuna Mayo and a Cheese. Get me the fuck out of this place.

I got to thinking, when I eventually calmed down, how many people does this happen to?

We are always told how lucky we are to have a "free" health service but does that mean that we should just accept poor service such as this? Is it not enough to go through what we go through only to be left in a windowless room for 8 hours with no food or water?

I'm composing a letter to the Royal Hospital and want an explanation of what went wrong and would be interested to hear of any problems you may have had - feel free to email me at dvfox76@aol.com

Latest comments

20.12 | 20:45

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the kind words.
I did indeed work in North Cyprus back in the day - Turkbet?

18.12 | 11:06

Hi Donna, remarkable, uplifting and inspiring read.
Did you ever work in North Cyprus around 10 years ago?

15.10 | 17:15

Hi Donna, you are so inspiring. I have just had my 2nd mastectomy 8 days ago out of choice, first one was 5 months earlier as small cancer found.well done you

30.09 | 15:12

well done for finishing EPI!

I can't send a longer response on here but would like to share my experience of CMF at dvfox76@aol.com or the forum on macmillan.