Man dies af­ter six-month wait for life­sav­ing op­er­a­tion

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

A PEN­SIONER in his 90s died four days be­fore a stent op­er­a­tion to re­lease pres­sure on his heart ... but af­ter wait­ing for al­most six months for an ap­point­ment in the city.

John Bartholomew, 92, was told by his GP that he needed a stent to re­lieve breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, but af­ter a wait of half a year and four ap­point­ments in Glas­gow, he sadly died four days be­fore his op­er­a­tion in Ed­in­burgh.

In con­trast, his wife, Ali­son, said their son, who had a sim­i­lar con­di­tion, was given sim­i­lar life­sav­ing treat­ment within 24 hours.

Mrs Bartholomew, who has lived on the is­land of Mull for most of her life, said: ‘My ex­pe­ri­ence of the NHS within the past year beg­gars be­lief. My hus­band was di­ag­nosed with the need for a stent.

‘At that time, a year ago, we were 92 and 87. We had to go to see the sur­geon and it was agreed my hus­band would need an op­er­a­tion be­cause his breath­ing was get­ting worse.

‘I drove him up and down the road for all his ap­point­ments.

‘We waited for an ap­point­ment. We had three dif­fer­ent ap­point­ments over sev­eral weeks in three dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions.

‘At 92 and 87, we had to drive down the night be­fore as we were al­ways of­fered 9am ap­point­ments. Be­fore we got to the CalMac ferry we had al­ready trav­elled 30 miles, so there was ab­so­lutely no way we could get to the hos­pi­tal in time. It meant stay­ing the night be­fore in Pais­ley.

‘The next prob­lem was find­ing a place to park at Pais­ley. By 9am there are no spa­ces left so it meant drop­ping my hus­band at the door and park­ing in some cases a 10-minute walk away.

‘The ap­point­ment it­self was on a first come, first served ba­sis and we could be wait­ing un­til lunchtime be­fore we were seen.

‘Even­tu­ally my hus­band got his ap­point­ment for an op­er­a­tion in Ed­in­burgh in July last year. He passed away four days be­fore.

‘It seems to me that there is a fair amount of pon­tif­i­cat­ing about man­age­ment of ser­vices. I know from peo­ple who work in the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion on the is­land the big­gest prob­lem is in­ter­fer­ence in the work­ing prac­tices on Mull.

‘When, at the age of 15, I had an in­flamed ap­pen­dici­tis, the boat came back to col­lect me and I had my op­er­a­tion in Oban the same day. That was in 1943. I don’t think the ser­vice has im­proved by any man­ner or means.’

Last week, in re­sponse to con­cerns over pa­tients’ travel, the Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship (the health board) said: ‘We are treat­ing more and more peo­ple lo­cally at the hos­pi­tal and in the past year more than 16,300 peo­ple were seen at the hos­pi­tal, an in­crease of three per cent on the year be­fore. This is good news for the hos­pi­tal and good news for the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

‘We have also built on the skills of staff and a wider range of ser­vices such as car­di­ol­ogy and en­hanced di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices are now be­ing pro­vided lo­cally which means many peo­ple don’t have to travel to Glas­gow for in­ves­ti­ga­tions and treat­ment. In short, the hos­pi­tal pro­vides more ser­vices than it did five years ago.

‘It is also im­por­tant to high­light there is a recog­nised na­tional short­age of spe­cial­ist con­sul­tants so un­for­tu­nately we are un­able to pro­vide a full range of con­sul­tant-led ser­vices from Oban.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.