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Young woman lost her surgery slot after she missed a phone call from Tallaght Hospital

TALLAGHT: Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) is to carry out an investigation into a delay in surgery of a 21-year-old woman because she missed a phone call from the hospital. Emily Larkin, a student from Lucan, will now have to wait longer for surgery as she was unable to attend the call.

Emily said that she rang them back within 40 minutes of seeing the missed call notification, but she was told that her slot had been given to another patient. Emily needs surgeries on her feet because of infections caused by a weaker immune system. She said it would now take at least four weeks to call for surgery again.

“This isn’t my first rodeo – I have had five surgeries with Tallaght, so when I saw the number of the missed call I knew it was them. I’d say it was 40-50 minutes tops between when they rang me and I returned the call.

“The lady told me that I didn’t ring back quick enough. I told her this was a hospital for surgery and it’s done on the basis of need, not who can phone back the fastest. I really need this surgery,” Emily said.

Emily said the staff who spoke to her told her to file a formal formal complaint if she was dissatisfied with the hospital’s procedures.

Emily, the founder and director of Invisible Disability Ireland, said that she needed the surgery as quickly as possible because she also requires heart surgery in the next six months.

Following the news on Twitter and in the media, hospital management apologised to Emily. A senior officer at TUH told her that an internal inquiry and audit will be conducted to determine how the incident happened.

The management explained that because Emily did not answer the phone, the surgery slot was given to someone else as part of a hospital procedure. They added that this is done to ensure that the slot is not lost.

“Generally, the Hospital’s waiting lists are managed in line with national guidance – this includes notifying the patient of their admission date by phone, letter and text, TUH said.

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