"National Waiting Time Exceeded"

About: Dewsbury & District Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

It is with regret that I have to make a complaint against Dewsbury Hospital. I was referred to ENT by my GP and attended an appointment in November 2014. I was given medication and told to return in the new year. I returned early in January 2016. During this appointment the Consultant informed me that I would need an operation and had to have a CT Scan and a Pre-op assessment. Both of these I attended within the following 2 weeks. At my Pre-op assessment (January) I was informed that I would receive an appointment for an operation within 18 weeks (National Target). It has now passed the 18 weeks waiting time and is now 20 Weeks.

I spoke to the waiting list group who informed me that they are struggling with capacity and do not see me receiving an appointment within the next few months. Imagine my horror when I was informed that this may not now be until the end of the year! ! I am absolutely outraged by this. I appreciate that there are staff shortages within the NHS and that staff are under a lot of pressure. However, without this operation, my quality of life has been, and continues to be, severely affected. For the past year I have lost all sense of smell and taste and struggle to breath of a night-time when I'm asleep. Due to the way I breath during the night, my 8 year old daughter if fearful that I may stop breathing and never wake up!

I am beyond knowing who to turn to as I anticipate (and hope) this operation will solve the issues described above. At what point does someone's quality of life have to be affected before they are offered surgery.

The NHS Constitution says that as a patient, you have the right to access certain services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times. Where this is not possible and you ask for this, the NHS will take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of suitable alternative providers. You have the legal right to start your non-emergency NHS Consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral, unless you choose to wait longer or it is clinically appropriate that you wait longer.

I have asked to be offered a range of suitable alternative providers BUT other providers are full to capacity. This is unacceptable.

Waiting until the end of the year, in my opinion, is not a suitable alternative option and definitely does not fit with the 18 weeks from referral!

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Response from Paul Jepson, Patient Liaison Manager, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Lillei

We appreciate that waiting for treatment is very stressful and we apologise for this. It is indeed the case that the ENT service is experiencing capacity issues and this is resulting in patients waiting longer than we would like. Additional medical staff are in the process of being recruited and this will provide extra capacity. This is not an immediate solution, however, as the recruitment process does take time. The specialty is treating patients according to their assessed clinical priority in the first instance, and secondly by the length of time waiting.

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