"Waiting for surgery"
About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Neurology Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow Neurology Glasgow G51 4TF
Posted by Waiting126 (as ),
My husband and I come under the Ayrshire and Arran Health Board and have been referred to the spinal unit under the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board as this is where the special treatment unit is for the west coast of Scotland.
Several hospitals have been closed in the GG&C and have been replaced with the large modern Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This has a neurological surgical theatre, state of the art theatres with lots of specialist equipment – there are 4 of them. However, 3 have been closed for many months due to raw sewage running down the walls, this has severe impacts for people waiting for treatment as is the case for both my husband and me.
About a year ago my husband needed surgery on his back and was referred to the neurosurgery unit by our GP, this was in March 2015. It was 4 months before he saw the surgeon who said it would be 12 weeks before he could operate, in the meantime he wanted to have a nerve conduction test to rule out other treatment. In fact it was 12 weeks before the nerve conduction test was carried out, this supported the need for surgery and when surgery was finally carried out, in December 2015, only part of the proposed treatment was given. In all this time my husband was on sick pay which reduced our income.
Whilst my husband was on sick pay I was the main breadwinner and worked long hours as a carer in the health industry. For the past 15 years I too have had a medical condition which has just been properly diagnosed (a condition that causes extra bone growth, Mastocytosis). I am allergic to antibiotics and to many painkillers. However, I worked as long as I could but last April I started to get pains in my legs which made it feel as if they were burning. I pushed on but in August I ended up in hospital. When I returned to work and told my employer I was sacked.
My GP arranged for x-rays which showed 5 discs in my spine had deteriorated, 2 have prolapsed and was given a referral to the MSK unit. Following an appointment with MSK an urgent referral was made to a neurosurgeon at Southern General, however, they have deemed my condition to need ‘routine’ attention. I am now confined to a wheelchair, am unable to drive and my GP is concerned that I am becoming addicted to diazepam, the only painkiller I can tolerate. Presumably this is because of the excessive demand on the one operating theatre that is currently available.
I cannot have a carer until I have been assessed by the DWP, so till then both my husband and I are dependent on the ESA payment we receive.
None of this is the fault of the surgeons whose access to operating theatres is so severely limited nor of the staff at the MSK unit who are trying their best to ease the pain for their patients. However, the powers that be could consider re-opening the hospitals that are currently closed until the theatres at Queen Elizabeth are in use again.