Re­vealed: stag­ger­ing num­ber of can­celled hos­pi­tal ap­point­ments

Us pa­tients are jUst data on a list

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Special Report -

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.

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