‘Horrific’ wait for operation

Kathy Hirst said she was 'horrified' after the wait
Kathy Hirst said she was 'horrified' after the wait

A woman said she was “horrified” by the service at Bridlington and Scarborough Hospitals after waiting nearly two weeks for an operation.

Kathy Hirst, 58, claims she was told by doctors to return to Scarborough Hospital on two separate occasions after badly breaking her wrist, only to be turned away because there were not enough beds.

Kathy, who has a home in Skipsea and suffers from fibromyalgia, broke her wrist in three places, when she fell over during a roller disco at Bridlington Spa on 11 August.

“I went to Scarborough 
Accident and Emergency because Bridlington’s was closed.

“The doctors told me I needed to have plates and screws put in place for it to heal.”

Kathy said doctors told her to come back on Thursday 13 August for her operation, but upon arrival with her husband Richard she was told the operation could not take place because there were no free beds.

She was then told her to return the following Monday, only for her to be sent home again. She also claimed one doctor told her they rarely carry out MRSA screening at Scarborough Hospital because “it takes up too much time”. They tried calling Bridlington Hospital but there were not any beds there either,” she added. “I phoned them again on Wednesday, and again on Thursday but I was told there still were not any free beds. They said they would call me back but they never did. The surgeon said he should be operating on people but he had more of an ‘admin job’ trying to find people beds. I get very tired from my fibromyalgia so I was exhausted.”

In her desperation Kathy and her husband Richard drove to Hull Royal Infirmary’s Accident and Emergency department last Thursday, where she said the operation “ran like clockwork.”

“I just thought my goodness, what a difference in service,” she added.

Kathy’s operation took place last Saturday, just two days after arriving at Hull Royal’s Accident and Emergency department and 11 days after her accident. She said: “If I hadn’t gone through to Hull Royal I would still be waiting here with a broken wrist.” The York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said although they were “sorry” to hear about Kathy’s ordeal, priorities for operations were given to those most in need.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Any cancellation of a scheduled operation is a matter of regret, however sometimes this is unavoidable, due to pressures on our services, particularly in our Emergency Departments and those needing urgent admission.

“All patients are assessed on their clinical need, and priority is given to trauma patients and those who are acutely ill, this means that there are sometimes no beds available for planned patients. We seek to minimise the number of times operations are cancelled, and to reschedule any cancelled operations so that they can take place as soon as possible after their postponement. We are also looking to address this through the development of a dedicated weekly theatre list at Bridlington Hospital.

“We would welcome the opportunity to speak to Ms Hirst directly about her experience and would encourage her to contact our PALS team on 01904 726262.”

Kathy is now recovering at home and said she wants to raise awareness of her ordeal.

“I’m a great believer in feedback,” she added. “Hull Royal was so busy, but they were excellent. Hopefully in future something can be done for people in similar situations to myself.”