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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Kells mum frustrated after 12 month old son’s surgery cancelled at last minute

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

A local mum has shared her frustration and disappointment after her son’s cleft palate surgery was cancelled at the very last minute as she sat with her baby on Friday morning (10 September) in The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Rebecca, from Kells, County Antrim, shared her story to highlight the current state of the health service in Northern Ireland, and she knows that her story is one of many from people who are facing the same - from ever-growing waiting lists, delayed appointments, and cancelled surgeries.

Sitting in the Belfast hospital on Friday with her young son Lars, Rebecca spoke to Love Ballymena mid-morning and understandably was feeling frustrated:

“Lars has been fasting since 3:00am, we have been on the ward since 7:45am, and only at 8:30am do managers decide to have a meeting about the fact there are no post-op beds left.”

Unable to carry out procedures due to the lack of beds, surgeons, ward nurses, and a theatre team were left standing around as schedules came to a halt.

“It’s just that so many time-sensitive surgeries are being cancelled and this is likely to continue for months,” the worried mum said.

“Lars should really have had all his surgeries completed by the age of 13 months so that his weight gain or speech will not be impacted, however, he will be 13 months in two weeks time.”

The latest figures published by the Department of Health reveal that nine out of Northern Ireland’s twelve hospitals were operating at (120 beds) over-capacity this weekend. 458 beds were occupied by Covid patients, 2,539 were ‘other occupied’, while 209 patients were awaiting admission.

We have asked the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust for comment.


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