Bethan Evans, Reporter
Monday, April 30, 2012
A woman left on a waiting list for months for an operation at Weston General Hospital says she has been treated ‘shabbily’ after her treatment programme was scrapped and started from scratch at a new hospital.
Kate Marsh, of Stanhope Road, was placed on the waiting list for a hysterectomy and bladder surgery.
She was first told by her consultant at the Weston Area Health NHS Trust she would be waiting for about five to six months.
But, because the eventual appointment clashed with a holiday in May, the 62-year-old contacted the trust and was told by the consultant’s secretary they would try to bring the operation forward.
She said: “There was never any inclination there would be a problem. I was even told they were trying to get the consultant to do more operations. They obviously had no idea what was going on.”
In February, after being on the waiting list for more than four months, Ms Marsh was sent out a general letter, apologising for any referrals and cancellations which occurred during her treatment and told her case had been referred to Bristol.
She said: “I was furious. Myself and everyone on the waiting list would have to have another appointment with a consultant, and the process would start all over again. We were just added onto another waiting list.”
It was at that point Ms Marsh pulled out and had the operation carried out by private cover, by the Benenden Healthcare Society, which can be used when the NHS Trust does not carry out procedures within its set time.
Ms Marsh said: “The trust dealt with us very shabbily. When I called to inquire what had happened I was told some people who had dates for their operations had had them cancelled. It made me so cross that we were being pushed around.
“I had to go to Gloucester for the operation, which was an inconvenience, but I do feel lucky because others are probably still waiting around.
“I complained through the PALS system, but there was no explanation, they just apologised and said this was unfortunate. There was no reason why.”
A spokesman from the Weston Area Health NHS Trust said: “Weston General Hospital offers a full range of the most commonly-performed gynaecological operations.
“However, we recently informed our colleagues in general practice locally that, in line with current best practice guidelines, we would in future be referring those cases which require the most significant and complex surgery to the larger and more specialised gynaecology unit at North Bristol Trust.
“Some patients who were already on our waiting list have been advised that the location of their planned surgery has changed accordingly.”