Operations at St Richard’s cancelled over temperature

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ON the same day St Richard’s Hospital announced it was ‘open as usual’, an 86-year-old man was turned away from a morning ankle operation because the operating theatre was too cold.

Despite the snow on Tuesday, March 12, Colin Troughton-Smith, from Bonnar Road, Selsey, travelled to St Richard’s hospital only to be sent away hours later.

“I find it hard to believe, that in these advanced times, it was not possible for my anticipated operation for a replacement ankle joint because the theatre heating system was unable to reach the required 21 degrees celsius,” said Mr Troughton-Smith. “After waiting more than three hours, prepared for surgery, the operation had to be cancelled. The surgeon and her team were marvellous in their care and attention, but in spite of all their efforts they were unable to rectify the situation and I was sent home untreated.

“St Richard’s could not cope with such a basic requirement as heating an operating theatre.”

After speaking to the Mr Troughton-Smith on Wednesday, March 13, the Observer contacted Western Sussex Hospitals for a comment to which they replied last week.

Paula Gorvett, director of clinical services for surgery at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our priority is to keep our patients safe and comfortable during their time in the operating theatre and this includes ensuring the temperature stays within nationally prescribed limits.

“The severe weather and sub-zero temperatures earlier this month meant that for a few hours our theatre temperature dipped below the acceptable minimum levels and unfortunately three operations had to be postponed.