Agony of waiting for an operation as beds filled

bedsBS''Lisa Moate awaiting her bowel operation at the Northern General Hospital
bedsBS''Lisa Moate awaiting her bowel operation at the Northern General Hospital
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LISA Moate was told just hours before her planned operation she would not been going into theatre.

Doctors said there was no free critical care bed for her to go to for after her operation was complete, and she would have to wait.

The 30-year-old, from Wincobank, who has suffered from inflammatory bowel disease since childhood, had already been at the Northern General for eight weeks when her operation was cancelled.

She said: “They said they could not do the operation because of the beds crisis and I would have to just keep on waiting.

“People are coming in with minor complaints like flu and it is taking up all the beds - and the norovirus situation means some of the wards are closed, which is making it worse.

“It’s been horrible just sitting here waiting and I’m in a lot of pain, on morphine every two hours.”

Lisa had to wait another nine days before she finally went into theatre, and is now recovering from the procedure.

Prof Mike Richmond, medical director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said Lisa had not been ready for surgery during her first eight weeks in hospital, but admitted the procedure was then cancelled because of the lack of beds.

He said: “Unfortunately, due to an unprecedented rise in demand from emergency patients, all the critical care beds were full at that time.

“Mrs Moate’s surgery was not an emergency case and so, regrettably, it was postponed because she needed a critical care bed to be available.

“Her safety has to be our priority.

“I would like to apologise to Mrs Moate and her family for the postponement and can assure them it was the last thing we wanted to do.”

Her husband Ricky, 27, said: “It has been a nightmare, a constant battle, like getting blood out of a stone.

“There are not enough beds available because people are coming in with minor ailments and they are being admitted.”