Hospital patients have been sharing their stories of appointments being cancelled multiple times and long waits to see specialists at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Andy Richards, 63, of Golcar, told the Examiner at the weekend how he faced a nine-month wait for a cardiology appointment at Calderdale Royal Hospital after suffering a heart attack.
Examiner readers described their own ordeals in the Facebook comments.
Richard Rushworth said after suffering a heart attack he was rushed to CRH for surgery. He said: “I was told and it was written on my discharge papers to be seen by a cardiologist after six weeks. After not receiving an appointment by six weeks I rang and they gave me one for 10 weeks. Two weeks later they cancelled that and moved it out to what would have been 16 weeks.
“I rang the complaints department and she got me an appointment right away but it was still 12 weeks after my attack.
“I am currently waiting to see a vascular specialist after an “urgent” referral in March. They have cancelled and changed the appointment three times and said I had cancelled it which is a downright lie. My current appointment is on June 7 unless they cancel that.
“It’s affecting my ability to work which I have to try as I am self employed. So much for “urgent”.
Steven Oldroyd said: “I have a liver condition and am supposed to see a consultant after ultrasound scan every six months. This stretched to seven, then eight, then nine months.
“I am currently overdue a consultant’s appointment yet again with no sign of any appointment pending.
“I have got sick of chasing things up and have now given up trying. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your health.
“HRI is unfit for purpose as it is deliberately being run down.”
Bridy Tyrrell said: “I’ve had mine cancelled eight times. I had a 48 hour heart monitor fitted for 24 hours last May. Mr Butts said he would see me in six weeks with the results – haven’t seen him since last May due to all the cancellations. I have had two heart attacks and a stroke before this.
“You are not on your own unfortunately, it’s the sign of the times.”
Beverley Hanson Regan said: “My two week post op follow up took four months. I had to remove my own dressings and stitch. I’ve recently been referred to dermatology. I can’t even make an appointment as there are none!”
Adele Tully said: “I’m still waiting to see a heart consultant as I’ve a blockage. Been waiting eight weeks now. It’s totally disgusting that people with serious issues are having to wait so long.”
And Pat Pocock said: “I had my appointment cancelled 6, yes six times at HRI !”
Helen Barker, Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust Chief Operating Officer, previously told the Examiner: “Our appointments service is run on a partial booking service, therefore appointments are not given on discharge if required over six weeks.
“The reason for this is that until six weeks in advance, clinics can be cancelled due to consultant leave and rota changes to cover our unplanned emergency services.
“Therefore this model aims to reduce the number of appointment cancellations patients experience.
“We have recently undergone a reconfiguration of services this has improved our outpatient capacity but will take time for us to clear the backlog of pending appointments.
“We recognise that we have limited medical resources and all appointments are validated by the medical team and therefore would only wait longer that the initial timescale for their appointment if it was clinically safe to do so.”