Patient gets hospital apology after months of waking with acid in mouth

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 August 2014

Vanessa Potter awaiting surgery.

Vanessa Potter awaiting surgery.


A WESTON woman has woken up every day for nine months with acid in her mouth because a hospital's waiting list is so long it cannot deal with her 'priority case'.

Vanessa Potter awaiting surgery.Vanessa Potter awaiting surgery.

Vanessa Potter says she and hundreds of others ‘have been left to rot’ as she continues to wait for her hernia problem to be fixed.

She has suffered with the condition for a number of years but since December tablets have been unable to control the problems.

The 67-year-old said: “I wake up with acid in my mouth every morning.

“I really have to watch my diet. A tomato, a cup of coffee or an orange will escalate to a huge problem.

“My mouth would fill with acid and it will sometimes come down through my nose. My dentists tells me I am suffering from gum erosion now too, because of the acid.”

Mrs Potter, of Gerard Road, was referred to the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) at the end of last year.

Despite being told she was a priority back in January, she contacted the Mercury this week as she had still not been given an operation date and was told she has no chance of it being done before November.

She said: “I’ve been told there are 200 patients in my situation and we have to give priority to cancer patients. Of course they should do, but why don’t they come under oncology?

“This issue really could be fixed quickly. The copious number of tablets I have and the problems I face could easily be fixed and I’d be sent on my way.

“I bet the other 200 patients are in the same situation.

“I feel pretty aggrieved by this because my whole year has been one of waiting. I have been told they could ring me at a moment’s notice if they is a cancellation but it’s not happened.”

“I’m a cork bobbing along waiting for the great god that is the NHS to treat me.”

However Mrs Potter was told on Tuesday - 24 hours after the Mercury contacted University Hospitals Bristol (UHB) - that she would be able to have her operation next month.

James Rimmer, UHB’s chief operating officer, said: “On behalf of the trust, I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Mrs Potter.

“Although she has been clinically assessed and her procedure is scheduled to take place in early September, we understand how frustrating waits for surgery can be.

“We are working hard to shorten the waits for patients requiring benign (non-cancer) upper GI surgery by running extra operating sessions, increasing our operating theatre capacity and by offering patients who are clinically suitable the opportunity to have their procedures done elsewhere.”

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