Patient turned away from hospital for life saving surgery THREE TIMES because there were no available beds

  • Stephen Jones, 62, was turned away three times in two weeks after taking three 150-mile round trips to a Plymouth hospital for heart bypass surgery

By Daily Mail Reporter

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Exhausted: Heart patient Stephen Jones, aged 62, has said he does not blame hospital staff for his treatment, but admits it left him 'dispirited'

Exhausted: Heart patient Stephen Jones, aged 62, has said he does not blame hospital staff for his treatment, but admits it has left him 'dispirited'

A heart patient was forced to travel 450 miles to and from hospital for life-saving surgery - only for it to be cancelled THREE TIMES.

Stephen Jones, 62, was turned away three times in two weeks after taking three 150-mile round trips to hospital for heart bypass surgery.

He is now patiently waiting for a major operation to replace a failing heart valve after being sent home untreated on August 24, 31 and September 5.

Mr Jones, who suffers from heart disease, angina, asthma, emphysema and clinical depression, has said how exhausted he is by the repeated setbacks.

The former health and safety consultant, from Tiverton, Devon, said: 'I'm exhausted mentally and physically.

'I've been backwards and forwards, building myself up again and again.

'Each time I go into hospital I have to arrange for a friend to come and stop at mine to look after my two dogs while I am in hospital.

'I have to arrange for my son to drive me in and pick me up.

'This is, including me, three people that are affected directly by this situation.

'I myself have had to prepare mentally for this operation each time only for that preparation to be dashed.'

Mr Jones, who has to travel to Derriford hospital in Plymouth, said he does not blame hospital staff, but the NHS restructuring putting increased pressure on services.

He was diagnosed with heart disease in 1996 following a heart attack.

'Extremely sorry': A spokesperson for Derriford Hospital blamed unexpected emergency patients requiring Intensive Care Unit beds for the Mr Jone's cancellations and apologised for the 'inadvertent distress and inconvenience' caused

'Extremely sorry': A spokesperson for Derriford Hospital blamed unexpected emergency patients requiring Intensive Care Unit beds for the Mr Jone's cancellations and apologised for the 'inadvertent distress and inconvenience' caused

He was admitted to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on August 10 after suffering chest pains and disorientation.

After being told his heart had 'two years left in it', he was referred to Derriford's specialist heart unit for an operation on August 24.

However, the operation was cancelled on the day at 4pm, after Mr Jones had gone 16 hours without food in preparation.

 

He was then told to return on August 31, which he did, however, it was cancelled again after his operation was dropped due to urgency, despite Mr Jones having endured another 12 hours of fasting.

It was then rescheduled for a third time - to September 6.

But when he arrived at the hospital the day before the procedure he was informed the surgery had been cancelled yet again.

Mr Jones said: 'My last thee experiences in Derriford have left me dispirited.

Over-stretched: Derriford Hospital in Plymouth cancelled Stephen's surgery three times, sending him home untreated on each occasion

Over-stretched: Derriford Hospital in Plymouth cancelled Mr Jones's surgery three times, sending him home untreated on each occasion

'Not because of the staff, who have been really exceptional, but the way that the NHS is being tinkered with to make it unworkable.

'Over the last eighteen months I seen a deterioration in the provision, not a drop in standards but a state of stretching of resources.'

His next surgery date has been set for this Thursday.

Hospital managers said they were 'extremely sorry' for the triple rescheduling, which was due to emergency cases limiting intensive care beds.

A Derriford Hospital spokeswoman said staff are doing their best to ensure that the procedure planned for September 13 takes place as planned.

She said: 'We are extremely sorry that Mr Jones' planned operation has been rescheduled on three separate occasions and sincerely apologise for the inadvertent distress and inconvenience caused to Mr Jones and his family for these instances.

'Unfortunately the availability of our intensive care beds was limited due to emergency patients and some patients requiring more complex care than predicted, hence experiencing a longer recovery.'

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

He should just tell them that he is going to get the operation done privately and the hospital will be footing the bill, if the cancel again.

Click to rate     Rating   1

Should have said he was a health tourist, would have been seen straight away.

Click to rate     Rating   2

While he's waiting for his op he can loose the weight that he needs to do, his recuperation will be a lot easier and faster if he looses a couple of stone. He should have lost it after his first heart attack.

Click to rate     Rating   7

This is the result of the Tories running the NHS!

Click to rate     Rating   6

this is the thin edge of the wedge.dodgy dave and Co now allow hospitals to use 50% of their beds for private patients and no mention of who gets preference.with most hospitals having to close wards because of cuts things don't look too good at the moment.but fear not the NHS is safe in his hands.he wouldn't lie to us,would he?.

Click to rate     Rating   6

This is a result of poor management and of an organisation run for the benefit of the staff and not the patient. In addition, the Trades Unions within this public service (?) have too much say.

Click to rate     Rating   3

I cannot work out where he is traveling from to make a journey to Plymouth, but Newport in South Wales spent £5million on a Heart unit and that is only 100 miles from the deep south Devon and Bristol also has a good heart unit which is nearer. So I do not know why he was not transferred to one of the other hospitals with perfectly good units. Personally I would not trust Derriford or Torbay hospitals as Torbay keep turning people away until they are virtually dead, and Derriford has been known to make mistakes so I would feel safer in Newport. That is MY opinion and would be be MY choice. Besides that it is disgusting that no beds are available or is it a shortage of staff? Too much money going abroad and wasted on non seen executives and paper pushers and not enough staying here to help the hospitals to act like hospitals with the proper amount of staff need on the floor...

Click to rate     Rating   10

Tiverton hospital and the R.D. & E saved my life when I had my heart attack. When I was told I had to have bypass surgery at Derriford I opted to go to the John Radcliffe in Oxford because I was well aware of the shortcomings of Derriford.

Click to rate     Rating   10

All those illnesses and he is still fat.

Click to rate     Rating   12

but "free" health care is always promoted as such both by its proponents and the politicians who wish to institute it.- Mignarda, Dover, United States --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The NHS was never promoted as free, it is free at the point of service, unless your injuries are from a road traffic accident, in which case they will bill later but treat anyway. The difference between the NHS and the US system is everyone is treated without proof of insurance, plus a photo ID to prove they are the insured person and then barcoded so they can be scanned and billed for everything from a glass of water to a headache pill. I'm also curious about which politicians you think plan on instituting free healthcare, to the best of my knowledge the only places where it is really free are certain oil rich middle eastern nations where no one pays taxes. Everywhere else is met by insurance or a tax on the population.

Click to rate     Rating   11

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