Having arrived early this morning, she was told she was number eight of eight on the list of patients for that particular surgeon. Then she was told there was not bed available, but if she waited, they might be able to find a bed. Note, this was a scheduled operation so why a bed was not ready is slightly mysterious in itself.
So, my mother waited and waited and waited, then was told she could be prepared to be operated on after 5 pm. She had been at the hospital all day, but at least, so she thought, she could expect to have the operation completed. But no. Despite the surgeon and his team of assistants being available and ready to do the operation, the anaesthetist "had to go", meaning the operation was cancelled, the time of the surgeon and his operation team had been wasted, all the tests my mother had done were wasted as was the time by nurses making ready and finding a bed.
What a total waste of time, but it begs the question as to why the anaesthetist was not prepared to to stay and why the hospital does not have another anaesthetist on call ? My wife had a similar problem when giving birth in that no anaesthetist was available. Luckily my son could be delivered naturally, but it was very much feared this would not be the case.
My real real concern today though was why an the NHS be allowed to work in this way. Forget that my mother is retired, but what are the implications for the economy if this is replicated all over the country everyday with hundreds of people taking days of work only for operations to be cancelled. However, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that the real reason that the anaesthetist left early was due to him (or her) needing to be available at the BUPA hospital down the road or for private patients elsewhere ?