Chorley woman living in constant pain after three year wait to have hip surgery

A 64-year-old woman from Chorley has told how she has been waiting three-years to have two hip replacements and is on eight tablets a day to cope with the pain.

By Emma Downey
Monday, 27th June 2022, 3:59 pm

Julie Jones from Capesthorne Drive says she is restricted to living downstairs in her home due to mobility issues and has to travel five miles to use a downstairs shower in another woman's house.

"I can't believe they have left me the way I am,” she said.

"I can't get upstairs to shower anymore.

Julie Jones has to travel miles to use another woman's shower

"This is my life now. I take the maximum dosage of pain killers a day and have to take morphine in between to cope with the pain."

Julie's step daughter Leslie Powell said her step mum has had numerous surgeries cancelled and it is frustrating having to watch her struggle every day.

"Julie currently lives with my sister and her grandchildren but they have to move out in February due to a private sale. They are currently looking for alternative accommodation which is placing additional stress on them.

"She is unable to walk 35 yards without crying in pain.

Julie Jones, 64, has been on a three-year waiting list to get her hips replaced

"All of this has placed a toll on her mental health as she loves her grandchildren and cannot help take care of them in any physical way."

Leslie says Julie first started experiencing pain and discomfort in June 2018 and claims she was told by a GP that she was too young to require such surgery.

With the pain becoming increasingly worse, she was then referred to Tameside General Hospital in Manchester the following month where she was placed on the top of the surgical list in February 2019, only to have it cancelled a week before.

Julie then relocated back home to Chorley to be closer to family support at the end of February where she was referred to Royal Preston Hospital team and was given a choice of hospitals and chose Euxton Hall.

After three years Julie Jones from Chorley is still waiting on a double hip replacement

Surgery that was then planned and scheduled for July 2021 also got cancelled before pre-op as Lesley claims there was a staff shortage in the operating theatre.

Two more surgeries were also cancelled with Julie being told there was an issue on her heart trace which needed further investigation.

Leslie added: "We were told after further investigation Euxton Hall were unable to carry out surgery as Julie needed an acute hospital.

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Julie Jones

"In February this year Julie paid private to have her heart investigated as NHS wait time was another three months, this was to see if Julie could stay at the top of the list at Euxton Hall.

"The actual procedure was on the 12th February and we were told the same day her heart is fine for surgery and this was more of a precaution as they were unable to see the heart well on her scan due to Julie's body shape."

In March she was given an emergency appointment to attend Royal Preston.

However this put Julie at the beginning of the process, meaning a wait list of at least three months.

She was then rushed to hospital with abdominal pain where it was discovered Julie had blood in her urine.

Further investigation on Julie's bladder and kidneys is now needed to check it is not cancerous and how to manage going forward.

Leslie added: "She has become debilitated from waiting for what is now routine procedures.

"Her physical and mental health has deteriorated so much due to her quality of life being so reduced and the number of tablets taking their toll on her organs.

"We are now becoming increasingly distressed watching her in so much discomfort.

"I am seriously concerned for Julie's health and the fact she may be in an inoperable state if this continues much longer.

"This now a very desperate life threatening situation."

Julie added: "I don't want to go to Kilimanjaro. I just want to be able to take the dog for a walk."

People waiting two or more years for a medical procedure are being encouraged to seek hospital treatment in a different part of the country where services aren't so stretched.

The move is part of an NHS "final push" to "virtually eliminate" the number of patients waiting two years or more to have surgery.

So far, only 140 patients have been "matched" with hospitals outside of their local area to have treatment.

But, the NHS said it's on track to arrange treatment for 6,700 people in England by the end of July.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: "As part of the biggest and most ambitious catch-up programme in NHS history, staff are now on track to virtually eliminate two-year waiters by the end of July.

"But the NHS will not stop here, from delivering one million tests and checks through our newly rolled-out community diagnostic centres to new state-of-the-art same-day hip replacements, staff are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to treat patients quicker, especially those who have been waiting a long time."

Costs for travel and accommodation will be covered but for the plan to work patients will have to be willing and able to go further afield for treatment.

Lancashire NHS Teaching Hospitals were approached for a comment.

NHS waiting lists reached a record high in England in April, with 6.48 million people, in total, waiting for treatment, compared to 4.42 million in April 2019.

While many hospitals focused on treating Covid patients during the pandemic, other procedures were delayed, including critical cancer treatments.

The NHS have been approached for comment.