ANYONE who has ever faced admission to hospital will understand that for many, this can be a stressful time.
Some patients admittedly don’t turn a hair but for some, having to be taken into hospital can be difficult, especially if surgery is on the agenda.
How much harder then for those who have their surgery cancelled and not even for clinical reasons. Frustrating yes, disappointing yes, particularly for those who have already waited for what, when you are unwell, can seem an age.
Consider those then whose operations scheduled to be done at Dewsbury District Hospital last year were cancelled because there wasn’t a bed, or because of staff shortages, missing notes, lack of transport, administrative problems.
Operations cancelled because of a need by a more urgent patient or sudden illness among medical staff are surely acceptable.
But is it really on for a health trust to cancel 984 operations in one year at just one hospital and put 68 patients through the trauma of having their surgery delayed more than once. One patient had to face four cancellations.
Statistics show that nationwide, 77,302 operations were cancelled for non-clinical reasons. And of those, it’s suggested that 7,000 had their NHS operations cancelled more than once.
Yes the health service is over-stretched, yes health professionals are doing more and more and treating ever more complex conditions. But at the front end of all of this are patients who may well already be stressed by a hospital stay.
Medical emergencies including patients who more urgently need a space in theatre, are unavoidable.
But many of the other “ills” in the health service are surely curable with a good dose of organisation. Then the real patients might have a smoother passage through difficult times.