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Grandson's cancelled operation

(27 Posts)
grannyactivist Mon 20-Apr-20 20:31:07

My grandson is nearly two and following an infection he has developed very severe strabismus (squint) in both eyes. The consultant said that he will need an urgent operation otherwise there could be permanent damage, but the soonest that he could be seen was early May. My daughter got a phone call today from the consultant's secretary to say the appointment has been cancelled as the paediatric ophthalmology consultant is now doing duty in other departments due to the coronavirus.

My grandson's eyes are so bad that the first thing he does when he wakes is to reach for his glasses - he never has to be persuaded to put them on - but even so his eyes are getting noticeably worse. My daughter has repeated the consultant's own words back to his secretary about the urgency, but the secretary said that all doctors are needed to aid the coronavirus response and she can't say when the next appointment will be made. sad

Doodle Mon 20-Apr-20 20:45:51

Oh grannyactivist I am so sorry to hear this. No wonder your worried. Is it worth your daughter talking to he GP to find out what impact the delay might have and if there are any other options like a referral to another specialist. I do hope the little one is ok.

crazyH Mon 20-Apr-20 20:52:00

Oh the dear little boy ..I don't know what your daughter's financial circumstances are, but is it possible to go 'private'.?

brook2704 Mon 20-Apr-20 21:10:43

Oh I’m so sorry to hear this grannyactivist what a worry for you and your little grandson
I too think a referral by the GP to a different consultant might be best if that’s feasible. I do hope something is sorted out quickly, he shouldn’t have to wait indefinitely for his op

Jane10 Mon 20-Apr-20 21:13:02

Oh poor wee boy. No wonder you're worried. Persevere with contacting the GP and surgeon. We're always being told the NHS is open. It must be important for such a small boy to have this operation. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

gillybob Mon 20-Apr-20 21:20:14

This is just shit !

How can they not see that this is URGENT and could effect your gorgeous boy forever . I’m sick of this . We have a huge Nightingale hospital beside us , fully staffed with no patients . The consultant I spoke to on the phone just last week said she had no patients either . For crying out loud . angrysadangrysad

Hithere Mon 20-Apr-20 21:48:57

How crappy.

How is your dd dealing with it?

SirChenjin Mon 20-Apr-20 22:35:12

Oh that’s just awful, the poor boy sad I echo what others have said - can you go back to the GP and ask for another referral? I’m surprised that the consultant isn’t still taking urgent or priority cases - you’d have thought there’d be some leeway built into their schedule. What about contacting Patient Affairs (or the equivalent where you are)?

grannyactivist Tue 21-Apr-20 00:17:31

crazyH & Doodle the family were especially worried that the problem occurred very suddenly, almost overnight, and my daughter's GP wanted to take a 'wait and see' approach for a while, so I urged her to get him seen privately asap, which she did.

Thankfully the consultant she saw got the little one straight back into the NHS and on his list after the initial consultation, but unfortunately this is the doctor who is now diverted. There is no-one else to refer to, but we do know that the op should be done sooner rather than later. I'm slightly relieved that my daughter did get a speedy diagnosis and so the problem has been picked up much sooner than would otherwise have been the case. It's just sad to see the little lad struggle to try and get his eyes aligned - I'm sure his eye muscles get very tired. sad

I do worry to think of all the many other operations that now won't be carried out in a timely manner. There must be a great many others who are in need of fairly urgent procedures, but whose doctor has been diverted to other work.

maddyone Tue 21-Apr-20 00:43:55

I can only add that this is a terrible situation for your family, but could your little grandson be referred to another consultant or hospital? Definitely get back in touch with the GP, your daughter won’t need to go to the surgery at this uncertain time, I’m sure a telephone consultation will suffice.

silversurf Tue 21-Apr-20 15:46:52

Dreadful situation for the little boy and his family.
Just a suggestion, if the op could be done privately, could you open a Go Fund Me page. I’m sure many people would be only too happy to donate to such a worthwhile cause.
God bless you all.

morethan2 Tue 21-Apr-20 17:21:36

I hope you get his operation date soon. It must be a terrible worry for you all. Bless his little heart.

Daisymae Tue 21-Apr-20 18:32:14

This is awful but sadly not unique. I know someone in daily pain with no end in sight because their op had been cancelled and it would have been privately funded. I hope that he gets help soon X

Yogadatti Wed 22-Apr-20 12:26:42

Put it on’s the only way to get and shame....I think the way everything has been sidestepped because of virus is wrong, especially as it’s all the bad management by government.....but by going on mainline media does get you somewhere, and at least you will get the right sort of coverage .....

Tangerine Wed 22-Apr-20 13:01:29

This is dreadful. I think contacting your GP may be a good idea, as others have already said.

I do hope things get resolved.

Iam64 Wed 22-Apr-20 13:13:10

So sorry to read this granny activist. You're an organiser and a problem solver who knows her way round systems. I agree with others who say get on the phone- if your daughter is happy for you to do that. Otherwise, I' m sure you'll be at the end of a phone or family whatsap group to support your daughter in trying to get this done.
Everything seems to be on hold because of the understandable corona focus. Hope you can get progress

Nannatwiglet Sat 25-Apr-20 10:35:46

Poor little boy. and family must be going out of your minds with worry!
Name and shame as Yogadatti says...
Get your Gp involved, even your MP ! Use Twitter and all the media sources...Find another hospital or consultant...

Today’s pronouncement from the head of NHS England said in the media and on radio that sick people are not getting the urgent medical help and treatment they deserve during this current CV situation.
Good luck

Eglantine21 Sat 25-Apr-20 10:58:50

I don’t understand the name and shame.

Who are you going to name? The surgeon who is working in other departments, maybe risking his life on a virus ward. How would it help to shame him.

And suppose the shaming led to pressure for him to leave his other work and carry out the operation. He would be leaving other patients who, presumably have an urgent need for a doctor, or he would not have been drafted from his specialist work.

He is a human being , trying to save lives, putting his own health at risk.

Those who would shame and add to the pressure he is under are the ones who should be ashamed.

Iam64 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:11:34

well said Eglantine21

Hithere Sat 25-Apr-20 13:34:11

Maybe cancelling the operation was for your gc's own good?

Maybe the risks way outweighed the benefits

starbird Sat 25-Apr-20 13:45:06

It is probably a regional or national policy. I would arrange to see another consultant privately and see if they think the wait will make matters worse, if so, do whatever it takes to raise the money for a private operation. It is possible all private doctors are helping the NHS. or if many are, the few that aren’t will have longer waiting lists.
Another option is to go abroad, the healthcare in some Eastern European countries is very good and they do not have so many COVIDcases - worth making enquiries perhaps.

If the family are willing, make a big fuss in newspapers, your mp, health secretary etc.

Eglantine21 Sat 25-Apr-20 13:47:35

Can I ask in practical term what you would hope the “before g fuss” would achieve?

Eglantine21 Sat 25-Apr-20 13:47:57

Oh big fuss. Should have checked it...

MissAdventure Sat 25-Apr-20 13:53:55

Yes, we really need lots of fuss makers at the moment.

grannyactivist Thu 30-Apr-20 16:39:30

UPDATE: sorry it's taken me so long to come back, but I've had a very busy week and have also been in ongoing discussions about the situation with my daughter.

Firstly though, I would never name and shame any doctor who is, like most of us, simply trying to respond to circumstances that are exceptional and extremely difficult. Hospitals are trying to second guess how best to deploy non-Covid facing staff under challenging and untested conditions and there will inevitably be some patients who 'slip through the net' - as we have all seen on the news this week; it's a tightrope act.

The option of 'going private' isn't so simple. The doctor my daughter saw privately is also the surgeon who, working as a consultant for the NHS, is the person who would be doing the operation anyway.

Today we've hopefully had a breakthrough in that another (hospital based) doctor has seen my grandson and has made an urgent referral to the surgeon. We are awaiting the outcome of that now. The timing is really important as my grandson's dad has to go abroad for work very soon and my daughter won't be able to cope with the situation whilst looking after their older children alone.