Revealed: staggering number of cancelled hospital appointments
Us patients are jUst data on a list
In April we revealed pensioner Stuart Barton had three appointments at the William Harvey Hospital cancelled in less than two years while suffering from a lifethreatening lung disease.
The 76-year-old from Godinton has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition where the airways narrow leading to breathlessness, a persistent cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections.
Mr Barton’s appointments were in the thoracic medicine department where the percentage of appointments cancelled in the three years ranged between 6.67% in December 2012 and 33.62% in June 2011.
The retired photographer said he was not surprised that so many appointments had been cancelled.
He said: “I’m not shocked at all. If they can cock up that much with me they’ve probably been doing it all over the place. I think it’s the depersonalisation that’s the problem. Mr X and Mrs Y are no longer individuals, they are just data on a list and if the trust has to cancel an appointment they don’t have to explain why, they just tell you to come in another day, in my case several months later.”
Mr Barton has seen his consultant once since April and has an appointment this month. He said he is “doing OK” despite the delays and cancellations.