Princess Grace - a total disgrace!
Victory: On 22nd October, 48 hours after this petition was created, HCA Healthcare realised the folly of their actions and have now reinstated Teresa's life-saving operation together with the care she needs, in another of their hospitals which has the Da Vinci robot.
The Princess Grace hospital, a prestigious private facility in London, has axed a vulnerable woman’s urgent colo-rectal operation because they ‘don’t agree with her beliefs’.
Teresa, a retired solicitor, chose this specific hospital because it was one of a few hospitals in the UK that use the Da Vinci robot that can handle delicate and complex operations and believed they would offer single-sex care. As a vulnerable victim of sexual assault, Teresa also thought that the Princess Grace hospital would be understanding and sensitive to the trauma that she had suffered.
Before she was admitted to the hospital for her pre-op checks, Teresa had already specified that she required a single-sex bathroom and stated that she would only answer questions on the form about her sex, not her ‘gender identity.
During the pre-op check which involved intimate care, a man in a blonde wig and bright lipstick entered the room, for no apparent reason other than to make eye contact with Teresa, which caused her to panic and obviously made her wonder whether she was being targeted or intimidated as a result of her previous requests.
Feeling frightened and vulnerable, Teresa reported the incident as a ‘patient dignity breach’ and requested that from now on, her care was only provided by female healthcare professionals - a request that is entirely lawful under the Equality Act.
Following the consultation, Teresa had to return home for three days to prepare for the operation, and pre-op medication was supposed to be couriered to her. Nothing arrived, so she called the hospital and was told that the urgent operation had been cancelled with no explanation given as to why.
The CEO then sent Teresa an email saying that the operation which was due the next working day, had been cancelled due to a ‘lack of shared values' and ‘to protect staff from unacceptable distress’.
The life-saving operation would have involved two leading surgeons, their clinical entourage, two surgery suites, a robot, a place in ICU and a patient bed for seven nights, and this was all cancelled at the last minute.
In contravention of healthcare regulations, the hospital CEO failed to confirm that she would register the patient dignity breach and did not offer to investigate it.
If the scheduled operation is no longer available to Teresa, her only alternative is to have open surgery, which was not the recommended option. Last week, just four days after the operation was due to take place, her condition began to deteriorate, and Teresa ended up in A&E, in considerable pain. She has rapidly lost weight and may now be too weak to have the open surgery.
The actions of the Princess Grace hospital are despicable. This is absolutely unconscionable. The Chief Executive and their parent company, HCA Healthcare must be held accountable. Sign to demand that they reinstate Teresa’s operation with the utmost urgency.