Altnagelvin Hospital: Woman in pain after surgery cancelled

Image caption,
The situation in Altnagelvin Hospital is being reviewed on a daily basis

A woman has spoken of her frustration after her foot operation at Altnagelvin Hospital was cancelled twice.

It was one of 42 affected at the hospital in Londonderry due to a nursing shortage and vomiting bug.

The Western Trust said that 25 beds across the hospital remain closed a week after its medical director confirmed it was facing challenges.

A spokesperson for the trust said that they do not comment on individual cases.


The woman, who did not want to be named, said she was told there were not enough beds.

She said she is in constant pain, which she can only treat with over-the-counter pain killers because of complications caused by other health conditions.

"I was looking forward to getting the surgery done. I just felt disappointed because I was all ready to go and built up for it.

"I have to have surgery on my toe as I have an extra bone in my toe," she said.

"I would like some clarity."

Image source, Surgery
Image caption,
Some 42 of 302 routine operations scheduled last week had to be postponed, while 260 went ahead as planned

Representatives from the Royal College of Nursing met the trust on Thursday to voice their concerns.

Garrett Martin, deputy director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, said there are a large number of nursing vacancies.

"Nurses are telling us that they don't feel valued at this moment in time," he said.

"They are telling us that they are not getting breaks and working additional hours."

Dr Dermot Hughes, Medical Director for the Western Trust, said: "Any patient whose appointment had been postponed will be offered an alternative date. The trust is working to recruit more nurses.

"The situation at the hospital is reviewed on a daily basis with a view to making best use of our available bed capacity, and to ensure our most clinically urgent patients receive their scheduled operations and treatments".

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