Gripe about Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Before I get going, let me just point out that the staff are fabulous, PALS are fabulous. It is obvious they are working under difficult situations and making the best of it. This gripe is about the "system".

I've been due to have my gallbladder out. They called for me last Tuesday to advise the operation had been cancelled as they had run out of space due to Norovirus doing the rounds and the other hospitals closed.

Although I failed to get the message, they did however leave one, and they have been busy with other issues since Norovirus. No problem there. The biggest gripe I have is that neither reception, or the nurses said my operation had been cancelled. They just said there was a problem and left me waiting in the waiting room for two and a half hours.

They eventually got back in yesterday. Nil by mouth again since midnight, hanging around waiting, waiting, no feedback. Just patient waiting. I was there from 8am and the doctor finally saw me at 2.30pm to say the operation had been cancelled yet again. His words, were along the lines of them trying to squeeze me in between two liver transplants and over running.

Well, I must shout heavily here. Although I appreciate the fact they tried to get me in at the next available opportunity, they seem to be struggling with emergencies here, and emergencies are pushing back routine scheduled operations.

Well that makes me concerned first of all for capacity of the Queen Elizabeth. You also can't tell me I was the only other scheduled liver related issue that day. This just suggests to me there is one surgeon running around in one theatre.

While transplants are undoubtedly an emergency, I can't believe that this means any other liver related issue is cancelled. Either there is no capacity, or I was squeezed in - as the doctor said.

Well, I'd rather not be squeezed in. I'd rather be at the top of a list of routine planned surgeries so I have at least got some hope of being seen that day.

So that's a day of holiday wasted.

The icing on the cake yesterday was when I was given a £3.40 voucher for food in the restaurant. After picking the fish mornay meal and being offered chips, I got to the till, presented my voucher and asked to provide a extra £1.50 for the chips. A small piece of fish that is half the size of your fist is £3.40! Well I couldn't afford it as I came in with very little money, a bit of change for the phone, because I was told to bring nothing in with me as it was an unsecured ward.

Well I hit the roof. I said I couldn't afford the food, and after lots of dithering, told them to stick their food and their voucher and their prices are disgusting.

But the biggest problem, is that I either want nothing, or a voucher that can cover the cost of a meal!

Very upset and annoyed.

I understand that they are busy, that there are bugs roaming the country, but I just want to be at the top of the particular list Im supposed to be on. I can probably guarantee that several other people will be getting their gallbladder surgery next Wednesday. Well, that's not right in my book. How about you cancel those and put me at the top of the list?

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