How can this happen!!!!
How can a hospital make such a mistake!!!! Let me explain......
Yesterday my mother was due to have laser treatment to one of her eyes, well that was what we thought when the appointment arrived in the post and it was certainly what the consultant told us when we saw him back in May.
You might remember me writing at the time that, having completed an assessment they were quite certain that my mother should NOT have her cataracts removed as she would be unable to lie still without moving for up to 45mins.
We got a taxi to the hospital and arrived in plenty of time for our 12md appointment. I was a bit surprised that we were sent up to the day theatre and not the out patient clinic but we were expected so I didn't worry. I did feel irritated when they told me that I couldn't stay with my mother as they needed to prepare her and when I asked how long 'the procedure' would take I was told the Doctors won't be starting until 1:30pm and they might be late so if you want to go away and come back we can ring you as it might be 3 or 4 hours. I thought this was ridiculous for laser treatment that is supposed to be a very quick procedure. It was pouring with rain I had no intentions of going all the way home and I didn't want to traipse around the shops so I said I was staying and I was told I could wait in the day room. I had a paper, book, and some crosswords and a bottle of water but no food!
I just get settled in the day room when a nurse came to the door and in a very loud voice asked 'is there someone here with Mrs C'. She went on to ask me if I have my mother's teeth as she couldn't find them and she wanted me to go and sort it out. My mother had her teeth when I left her and for goodness sake what is wrong with the nurses searching!. Anyway I went back to the room my mother was sharing, with another lady, and found them in the bottom her bag. I saw that she has a cup of tea so that was good. I returned to the day room and settled down and gradually everyone else left and I was alone.
After about an hour a very handsome young doctor came in and asked me to come and see my mother. As soon as I got into the room my mother blurted out 'they were going to take my cataracts out, they put eye drops in and got me all ready'. I couldn't believe my ears.
The doctor was very apologetic and said he had checked the notes and it was an administrative error that it was the fault of the hospital that they had got the wrong procedure booked. He went on to say that they couldn't do the laser treatment today and it would mean another appointment. I said I wasn't very happy as it had cost us over £20 for taxi fares. The Doc couldn't tell me when the next appointment would be except sometime in September.
I think we were both a bit shocked really as this could so easily have ended in disaster for my mother if the mistake hadn't been noticed in time. Now I've had time to think about it I'm actually wondering if I should make a formal complaint. I think the least they could do is refund the taxi money but I bet they won't. For my mother, who had geared herself up for this, it's back to waiting another few weeks.