Jump to content
×
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!

UK SURGERY - Missed a surgery call... is this fair?



Recommended Posts

Hi everyone.

I thought I would pop this on here, and someone who is feeling incredibly frustrated and let down by the whole waiting process.

For context; I am waiting for a gastric sleeve date, after almost 5 years on the waitlist with the NHS based in England. Ironically, I could've paid for private surgery almost twice over with the amount of tax I've paid since waiting!

I have been 'at the top of the list' since October last year, and have done everything they have asked of me - kept my weight below my initial weight at the beginning of my consultations; diet change; lifestyle change; everything to try and help eleviate some of my PCOS symptoms whilst I wait. I'm just feeling so ticked off today.

I missed a call by a couple of seconds whilst I was driving to work, and had a gut feeling it would be from the hospital I'm having the surgery in. I tried to call back, but typical, it was a number that didn't receive incoming calls. I tried for 20 minutes to get through to the right department (had the phone put down on me when I was put through to the wrong team, and asked to be put back to the switchboard?). When I finally managed to call through to surgery admissions, I was advised that because I didn't answer the phone (despite LITERALLY not having a number directly to call back on), they had already called someone else and given my slot away.

Livid and heartbroken do not come close to how I felt today. I am so exhausted of the waiting game, even moreso when there's been several times I've had appointments in person cancelled at the last minute, after travelling 2 hours there and back; cancelled phone calls at the last minute; zero in-person physiotherapy despite being told for over 2 years I would receive them.

I now have to wait - god knows how long - for the next phone call, that heaven forbid it's unsafe for me to answer my phone at that point in time.

Has anyone else in the UK had anything like this before? I just can't believe they wouldn't give me a chance to call back as I did, or call me again within a couple of minutes.

I'm self-employed, and as the spring/summer months approach, I may lose out on a lot of work and earnings with surgery recovery, which is why next month would have been perfect.

Any support right now would be great. I'm feeling so deflated and worn out by this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so sorry. You really have been treated badly. How can they plan surgeries this way ? I have never come across this before. I don't know who you can complain too, but I would be doing it.

I went to a private hospital, Spire, worth every penny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, summerseeker said:

I am so sorry. You really have been treated badly. How can they plan surgeries this way ? I have never come across this before. I don't know who you can complain too, but I would be doing it.

I went to a private hospital, Spire, worth every penny.

Thank you. I honestly have no idea how they would think it’s a sensible way to schedule anything, honestly, I was so shocked I couldn’t say anything to her on the phone. I think I may call tomorrow to ask for a complaints number to be honest. I just can’t understand how that is even justifiable.

I’d love to go private and I did look into it, but I had a few complex needs that they advised I go back to the tiered weight management service the NHS offer for help and therapy first. At this point I wish I’d have ignored their advice and booked anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow… I’m not in the UK, so I have no idea what is considered common practice, but this is not only terribly unfair, but also illogical. It’s not like a transplant where they may only have a few hours to get the organ into a recipient; they should be able to give you at least a few hours to respond (and also a way to reach them). They can’t possibly expect you to be ready to answer the phone at a moment’s notice any time, anywhere.

If I had to guess, I would say this is probably not really their policy, but the person who called didn’t want to take the time to call you back or wait for your call and just moved on to the next person because it was easier. That would be a really callous way to handle something so important. I hope you can find someone to correct this so you can get your surgery!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, BigSue said:

Wow… I’m not in the UK, so I have no idea what is considered common practice, but this is not only terribly unfair, but also illogical. It’s not like a transplant where they may only have a few hours to get the organ into a recipient; they should be able to give you at least a few hours to respond (and also a way to reach them). They can’t possibly expect you to be ready to answer the phone at a moment’s notice any time, anywhere.

If I had to guess, I would say this is probably not really their policy, but the person who called didn’t want to take the time to call you back or wait for your call and just moved on to the next person because it was easier. That would be a really callous way to handle something so important. I hope you can find someone to correct this so you can get your surgery!

Thank you, I completely agree. Common practice usually would be to call the patient on the waitlist at the top (I have been told you are able to refuse a date to be offered another just one time, in the event you have a situation you can't miss in your personal life, for example), and offer the date with 2-4 weeks notice of surgery to begin the liver reduction diet.

I agree though, it doesn't take a genius to work out that this way of contacting people is simply ridiculous. What if one is driving again, or it's an inappropriate time to answer a call?

I have since found the complaints email for the health service trust, and have sent one off to explain the situation. I would be shocked if this was their policy, honestly, but I'll wait and see I suppose.

Edited by AMJ2598

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is so awful, I am beyond sorry that you have had to go through this.

I know most of us can completely empathise with how hard the waiting game is at the best of times, let alone with the added stress of the NHS and how badly run it seems to be with WLS!

I had initially considered just staying on the NHS waiting list (I am currently on the Tier 3 Weight Management programme), but after hearing awful experiences like yours, and from reading about waiting times, I decided to look into going private with Spire. I think it may be worth just getting a second opinion in regards to what you were told before by a private surgeon!

My surgeon, Simon Monkhouse, was amazing in the initial consultation. I have PCOS too, and an underactive thyroid, and he recommended a bypass and was transparent about it all. You can get a free consultation with him quite quickly, maybe this would be an option for you! simonmonkhouse.com

I have everything crossed for you that you will get the surgery soon, and everything will work out. I'd definitely pursue putting in a complaint, too.

Sending love and hugs x

Edited by Bypass2Freedom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that the NHS is government run, maybe you should send a letter to your MP as well. It couldn't hurt to make your complaints known to an elected official, even if, like here in the US, they don't do much. Sometimes they can surprise you by being effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Bypass2Freedom said:

This is so awful, I am beyond sorry that you have had to go through this.

I know most of us can completely empathise with how hard the waiting game is at the best of times, let alone with the added stress of the NHS and how badly run it seems to be with WLS!

I had initially considered just staying on the NHS waiting list (I am currently on the Tier 3 Weight Management programme), but after hearing awful experiences like yours, and from reading about waiting times, I decided to look into going private with Spire. I think it may be worth just getting a second opinion in regards to what you were told before by a private surgeon!

My surgeon, Simon Monkhouse, was amazing in the initial consultation. I have PCOS too, and an underactive thyroid, and he recommended a bypass and was transparent about it all. You can get a free consultation with him quite quickly, maybe this would be an option for you! simonmonkhouse.com

I have everything crossed for you that you will get the surgery soon, and everything will work out. I'd definitely pursue putting in a complaint, too.

Sending love and hugs x

Ahhh, the lovely tier 3 programme! It took an absolute age just to even be considered for that to begin with, I really feel for you. Then the added issue of thinking you would be aiming for a certain month or period of the year, to then be told last minute it's being pushed back, again and again, is genuinely the worst of it.

Being completely honest too, as someone who is self-employed, I just don't earn enough regularly to commit to paying it per month. I was working 6/7 days a week between two jobs and I was barely earning more than 22-ish thousand a year salary until the end of last year. I do have the comfort of earning a little bit more now, but only in the right seasons unfortunately.

I did put in a complaint yesterday to PALS, and they very quickly responded which was good of them, but it was conveniently not the woman who caused the stress to begin with. They've 'provisionally' (and I use that loosely!) let me know the 28th of March could work depending on how many others they have to schedule.

Just a waiting game I suppose. Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, NickelChip said:

Given that the NHS is government run, maybe you should send a letter to your MP as well. It couldn't hurt to make your complaints known to an elected official, even if, like here in the US, they don't do much. Sometimes they can surprise you by being effective.

Totally agree with the lack of work by MP's similar to yourselves over the pond! I did reach out to PALS, who are the official complaints people for the NHS, and the admissions team at the hospital did come back to me this morning. Felt a lot like many excuses, some not-so-reassuring promises about a provisional date in March (not holding my breath really), and generally just not much else.. alas, we will get there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, AMJ2598 said:

Ahhh, the lovely tier 3 programme! It took an absolute age just to even be considered for that to begin with, I really feel for you. Then the added issue of thinking you would be aiming for a certain month or period of the year, to then be told last minute it's being pushed back, again and again, is genuinely the worst of it.

Being completely honest too, as someone who is self-employed, I just don't earn enough regularly to commit to paying it per month. I was working 6/7 days a week between two jobs and I was barely earning more than 22-ish thousand a year salary until the end of last year. I do have the comfort of earning a little bit more now, but only in the right seasons unfortunately.

I did put in a complaint yesterday to PALS, and they very quickly responded which was good of them, but it was conveniently not the woman who caused the stress to begin with. They've 'provisionally' (and I use that loosely!) let me know the 28th of March could work depending on how many others they have to schedule.

Just a waiting game I suppose. Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it x

It really did! I think I was on the waiting list for Tier 3 for about 2 years. I don't know how they think they are helping those who desperately need help with their weight, by making them wait years and years without any support.

I completely empathise with that, although there are a lot of freedoms with being self-employed, it does make some things more difficult.

I am glad they have reacted quickly to the complaint - I so hope they take it as seriously as they should and the woman who initially caused stress is actually held accountable. I have my fingers crossed for you! ❤️

Here if you need a friend x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Trending Products

  • Trending Topics

  • Recent Status Updates

    • Liz R

      Trying to update my ticker - I'm down 100 pounds!! 
      · 1 reply
      1. alisasings

        I don't know how to update the ticker, but CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    • alisasings

      I joined BariatricPal in 2008 & I FINALLY made the descision to have WLS!! I'm so excited & not sure what I need to do to get the ball rolling, but I made an appointment with my PCP for 7/19. It's a start I guess.
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • Elnaz

      Losing weight is my dream
      · 1 reply
      1. alisasings

        I've been dreaming about it for 30 years or so. It's time to make it happen!

    • OhMyGawdItzKla

      I joined yesterday when I was struggling with this preop diet... 
      It typically comes and goes, the hard times and easier times. I'm on day 6 of 14  shakes, water, sf Popsicles and jello. And I might actually be losing my mind. But, oh dear lord has the fear set in. Not about the surgery itself, but life afterwards. If I feel this crappy on the preop diet, am I going to feel like this forever after? 
      I know most of the answers are no, not forever. It might be worse after for a while, then get better. I know it's a more of a mental challenge than physical after the first couple weeks of healing. I get all of that. But I'm starting to feel scared about losing myself afterwards. 
      It might be my hormones or desire to chew something salty talking.. It may go away soon or tomorrow.. I can hope, anyway. But right now.. The fear is real. 
       
      And this liquid diet can bite me. 
      · 2 replies
      1. NickelChip

        Fear is normal, but if it makes you feel any better, I'm 4.5 months post-op and the pre-op diet was by far the hardest part of the whole process. There will be challenges and a lot of new things to learn, but I can honestly say at this point I feel so much more "back to normal" and was even able to go on a week-long vacation with my kids without stressing over it. It's so worthwhile.

      2. OhMyGawdItzKla

        @NickelChip This actually does make me feel better! Thank you so much! After the onslaught of Covid, we've all had to deal with a "new normal", so I know it's possible. It's just the fear and frustration in this moment that makes me question if I can find another "new normal" afterwards. The thought of just a few more months seems daunting some times, but I really do appreciate input and real experience. I'll use that to get me through for a few more hours! LOL. Thank you so much! And I'm glad everything is going so well for you! ❤️

    • mamabear30106

      I started my 10 day pre op diet yesterday I need flavor!! I'm not big on the chocolate protein shakes so I just got to use up what I have was thinking about freezing it to make it like a ice cream so its something I can chew a little. Idk this is hard but I know I can do it just need to find new things to try 
      · 1 reply
      1. JennyBeez

        You can try. I've read other people have had good results with protein-shake popsicles, etc. My personal experience with it? Sucked.

        I tried making 'fudgesicles' with a couple different flavors of a premade shake, as well as a protein powder I blended myself and all of them came out revolting? The powder ones, all the protein sunk to the middle; the premade shakes, the popsicle had a disgusting texture and the protein seemed to leave a weird fluffy film on the outside? I couldn't stomach it.

        Maybe look into flavoring additives? I was able to have sugar-free coffee /soda syrup flavorings, sugar-free drink flavorings and baking additives like almond, rum or pepperment extract. The extracts helped me the most as they added no extra sweetener.

        On the other hand, if you can get your hands on an unflavored/unsweetened protein powder, the syrup flavorings are perfect. I love to use Boost "Just Protein" (which is unflavored) with milk and a Chai-flavored sugarfree syrup.

        Good luck!

  • Recent Topics

  • Hot Products

  • Sign Up For
    Our Newsletter

    Follow us for the latest news
    and special product offers!
  • Together, we have lost...
      lbs

    PatchAid Vitamin Patches

    ×