LBH staff say they apologised for cancellation


LISMORE Base Hospital staff say they apologised to Leanne Francis on Tuesday after they were forced to cancel her hysterectomy as she lay waiting for her anaesthetic.

Dan Madden, the hospital's executive officer, said the operating theatre nurse unit manager and the Richmond Valley surgical services co-ordinator both made sincere apologies.

Mr Madden said the emergency department experienced a 'high influx' of patients into the emergency department and elective surgery cases had to be postoned to cope with the demand.

He said the hospital's ability to accommodate post-operative patients would be enhanced by an increase of beds next year and a clinical redesign project that began this week.

Ms Francis said she felt sorry for the nurses who had to work on the front line, dealing with problems that were out of their control.

"It's not the nursing staff's fault. They do a really good job," she said yesterday.

"I was more upset than angry but they must get a lot of people abusing them.

"The nurses were wonderful. One of them stayed with me and held my hand until my husband arrived."

She says she does not remember receiving an apology.

"A woman came down and talked to me but I was still in shock and not really listening."

Leanne was 'prepped' to go into theatre when she found out her surgery had been cancelled.

"They sent me up at 9am and at four minutes past I got cancelled."

She wondered at what point they made the decision to stop the surgery.

"What would have happened if I'd already had my anaesthetic?"

She said her procedure had been rescheduled for next Tuesday.

"Hopefully it will all go ahead then," she said.

Medical and community representatives are to meet with NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos on Friday to talk about the health crisis gripping the North Coast

Member for Ballina Don Page and Member for Lismore Thomas George will lead the delegation. Also going are Lismore mayor Merv King, Medical Staff Council chairman Dr Rob Simon and secretary Dr William James and a community representative yet to be named.

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