A cancer survivor has said he was devastated when he learned he would have to wait at least two years for a hospital checkup.
Andrew Jones will not be seen until June 2025, illustrating how much the NHS is struggling to clear its record deficit.
Mr. Jones, who was given all-clear five years ago, suffered bladder damage after his surgery. It caused him to go to the toilet more than usual.
His GP decided he needed a urologist to assess the extent of the problem. Mr. Jones, a grandfather in his sixties, assumed the invitation would be for 2023.
Cancer survivor Andrew Jones will not be checked until June 2025, illustrating how much the NHS is struggling to clear the record backlog
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old was given the same appointment in June 2025 at the hospital’s urology department. He’ll be 18 by the time he finally gets his checkup
Struggling NHS receives more complaints than ever before: a record 225,000 written complaints were made about the sick healthcare system last year
Patients are complaining about the NHS more than ever, official figures show.
In 2021/22, more than 225,000 written complaints were made about England’s ailing health service.
This is up from nearly 210,000 the year before Covid hit and just over 160,000 in 2011/12 when the records started.
Communication, clinical treatment, staff attitude and behavior and patient care were the most complained areas.
It’s coming under enormous pressure in the NHS, which is gearing up to face the ‘hardest winter on record’.
Backlogs have reached record highs, with emergency department performance and ambulance response times plummeting to record lows.
The looming threat of strikes and a ‘triplemic’ of covid, flu and other seasonal viruses could add to the health care woes this winter.
Recalling his thoughts when he found out it wasn’t really until 2025, he told ITV News: “I thought, I’m turning 64.
“I didn’t think it was a life-threatening problem I got, but I don’t know.
“I don’t know what the problem is, so in 2025 it could be twice as bad.”
He assumed the appointment date at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford was a mistake and told his partner: ‘This must be a typo, it must be 2023.’
Mr Jones told the Shropshire Star: ‘It really is unbelievable. I knew the NHS was in a state, but I didn’t think it was that bad.’
It is not clear what cancer Mr. Jones, from Ditton Priors near Bridgnorth, has.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old was given the same appointment in June 2025 at the hospital’s urology department.
He’ll be 18 by the time he finally gets his checkup.
The boy’s appointment is just 30 minutes before Mr. Jones’s.
Local campaigners called the extreme waiting times “absolutely appalling” and “completely unacceptable”.
Wes Streeting, the Labor shadow secretary, said waiting times of nearly three years will put people’s lives on hold.
He said, “Wait three years. What should this 16-year-old do?
“Put his life on hold for the next three years?
‘The NHS crisis is preventing people from moving on with their lives. The longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer the patients will wait.’
It comes as further disruption to appointments is expected next month as nurses walk out across the UK on December 15-20.
Health insiders have warned the strikes will cost lives, with a ‘holiday service’ causing delays and cancellations in everything from routine surgery to chemotherapy.
Mr. Jones, who was given all-clear five years ago, suffered bladder damage after his surgery. It caused him to go to the toilet more than usual
Meanwhile, the NHS backlog in England had already reached a record 7.1 million in September, the latest figures show, with hundreds of thousands queuing for treatment for more than a year.
Emergency room performance fell to a new low, with about 1,400 attendees waiting more than 12 hours each day in emergency departments last month. TThe lowest rate ever recorded was seen within the four-hour NHS target.
And aIn October 999, ambulances took longer than ever to reach callers of all seriousness. Health chiefs say ‘unprecedented demand’ continues to weigh on the struggling service.
The data reflects the situation before winter pressures, such as an expected rise in Covid and flu admissions, were felt in hospitals.
The NHS blames the crisis on record demand, the pressures of Covid, labor shortages and the bedblock crisis – which saw an average of 13,613 beds a day in October, equivalent to one in seven – occupied by people who no longer need to be there .
The figure is three times the pre-pandemic average. Social care shortages are believed to be to blame for the delayed discharges – with insufficient staff available to care for some patients when they are ready to leave hospital.
Sara Biffen, acting chief operating officer of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: ‘We would like to apologize for the wait for a urology appointment as the service is experiencing a backlog due to Covid and a shortage of specialist staff. .
‘Together with partners, we are doing everything we can to reduce waiting times, including by actively recruiting more urologists and nurses.
“We continue to prioritize patients with the greatest clinical need, including cancer treatment, and regularly review the waiting list.
“In collaboration with partners, we are exploring other providers who may be able to offer earlier appointments and we will continue to keep patients informed and supported.”