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infection fears Tallaght Hospital to launch review after missed phone call led to delay of young woman's surgery


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Emily Larkin (21) must now wait at least another four weeks for a surgery she needs because she didn't answer her phone.

Emily Larkin (21) must now wait at least another four weeks for a surgery she needs because she didn't answer her phone.

Emily Larkin (21) must now wait at least another four weeks for a surgery she needs because she didn't answer her phone.

TALLAGHT University Hospital (TUH) is to conduct an internal review after a 21-year-old woman's surgery was delayed because she missed a phone call from the hospital.

Emily Larkin, a student from Lucan, described it as "crazy" that she will now have to wait longer for surgery that she needs because she wasn't in a position to answer her phone.

Due to a compromised immune system, Ms Larkin has to have surgeries on her feet as she gets infections which she says are "dangerous to just leave sitting there".

Upon noticing a missed call from TUH on Thursday, Ms Larkin said she rang back only to be told because she had not answered her phone, the surgery slot had been offered to someone else.

She said the staff member told her it would be at least another four weeks before she was contacted for surgery.

"It's crazy - I rang them back and they just said: 'no, that's it, you've missed it'.

"There was no time given to me to ring them back to confirm my availability by the end of the day or anything, it is just crazy," she said.

"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."

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Ms Larkin said the hospital told her to make a formal complaint if she was unhappy.

Upon taking to Twitter and speaking to media outlets about her situation, the primary school teaching student said she received a phone call from a member of hospital management yesterday evening to apologise.

The senior member of staff at TUH told her an internal review and audit would be carried out to find out how the situation arose.

In a statement TUH said: "At times where a last minute appointment becomes available due to a patient cancellation, the slot will need to be filled urgently to ensure the slot is not lost.

" In this scenario an alternate patient will be contacted by phone."

"Generally, the Hospital's waiting lists are managed in line with national guidance."

Ms Larkin said that she was not being offered a cancellation slot on Thursday as she had already received two recent letters from TUH notifying her she would be due for surgery soon.

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