Aug 17 2012 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Friday
A PATIENT is demanding answers after her surgery was cancelled at the last minute because Forth Valley Royal Hospital ran out of bandages.
The Bridge of Allan grandmother was prepped and waiting outside the theatre for a varicose veins procedure when she was told it could not go ahead because the right bandages were not available.
Now she wants to know why the hospital – which was officially opened by the Queen last year and features hi-tech robotic portering, a computerised pharmacy system and even a hologram to welcome patients and visitors – did not have basic supplies.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I was booked in as a day patient and told to report for 8am on Wednesday.
“I made my way to the ambulatory unit and at 8am on the dot the surgeon appeared and marked me from ankle to groin in felt tip marker, ready for the varicose vein operation.
“He said the nurse would check my vital signs, etc. The anaesthetist also came in and went through all the checks and then another nurse came in. All the questions were gone through twice in that room and they said they would bring me a gown and someone would take me to theatre. This was around 8.30-8.45am.
“After that I started to walk to the theatre but had to go back to be given three painkillers in preparation for the procedure and I had my first sip of water since 10.30 the night before. Then another anaesthetist and a student nurse came to do the checklist again and said someone would come to get me very shortly. I must have sat for another 30 minutes.”
She went on: “Then I saw the surgeon coming towards me with another young man. He drew the curtains round and said ‘I’ve got bad news for you. We are having to cancel your operation’. When I asked him why he said ‘there are no six-inch sterile bandages to bandage you with’ and added that they weren’t likely to arrive until Friday.
“I couldn’t believe that here I was in this state-of-the-art new hospital but they didn’t have the correct bandages.
“Needless to say, the surgeon was very professional but I could tell he was furious about it.
“Apparently this isn’t the first time there has been a shortage of basic supplies.”
A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley said: “We are sorry that this operation, which was due to take place in day surgery, was unable to proceed due to a temporary delay in the delivery of certain sterile bandages from the national NHS distribution centre.
“This was an isolated incident and supplies of these bandages are now in place. We have apologised to the patient and arrangements are being made to reschedule their procedure as soon as possible.”