"14 months waiting for surgery. How can the NHS say waiting lists are coming down?"

About: Stafford Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

After a gall bladder removal operation in March 07, I was not told that I had MRSA - despite my complaint to the Surgeon that the 14 inch wound was not healing. The hospital contacted my GP several days after my discharge, to tell him that I had MRSA.

In June 07, I had an incident and found I had a 14 inch hernia. I was sent to see the surgeons in October at the Hospital and they stated they were not qualified to do this repair. So I was sent to another hospital and in December 07 I was told; it was an emergency, I needed surgery and they would contact within 7 days to give a date. 6 weeks later, we are told they could not on reflection do this operation and would be sending me to another hospital.

At the next hospital, the surgeon said they could do it. In May 08, I was told in writing that I would be given a date for the operation.

It’s now August, and the promises each month since May have come to zilch.

Today, I have been told that the surgeon cannot get surgery time in September, but to keep phoning.

I have been told by 3 consultants (one a professor in neurology, one a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, another an A&E Consultant who is now Head of a University Teaching School) that this is going to get worse. Moreover, now none of my reflexes work and Haematomas are forming. Its not looking good and the consultant neurologist thought if this was not repaired quickly the outlook was not at all rosy.

What I do not understand is, how half a dozen surgeons can tell you an operation is a medical emergency, but today my PCT and PALS office inform me that at the earliest its going to be October - if I’m lucky… I’m told this afternoon, by one of the consultants, they do not think I will live to see October if this is not done.

It seems that no one listens to the consultants and their clinical judgements - as I was told by the PALS office that I am not on a waiting list because this is urgent!

Is this how waiting times are coming down? If it’s urgent you are not on one... If you have or need a simple operation like an in growing toe nail that the hospitals can do thirty a day - you are on a waiting list. That enables the hospital and Primary Care Trusts to meet targets, and maybe that’s why there is no operating theatre time for an urgent operation that will take more than 20 mins.

No one cares for now 14 months and now looks like its going to be 16 if I'm still breathing by then.

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