Dorset County Hospital apologises to patients on life-saving operation waiting lists

Dorset Echo

DORSET County Hospital has apologised to 15 patients from West Dorset who have been left waiting for a life-saving operation.

Dave Mountford, of Bridport, has spoken of his ‘distress’ and ‘frustration’ at being made to wait months for treatment since being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The 60-year-old is now concerned that his condition has worsened in his five month wait and told the Echo the situation is ‘just not good enough’.

The group of 15 patients, who are under consultants at Dorset County Hospital (DCH), were set to be treated at Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH), after doctors there recently acquired the necessary equipment.

But have since been told that consultants there were only operating on their own patients.

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin slammed the ‘wholly unnecessary’ situation as an ‘absurd ‘who does what’ dispute’.

In the past, west Dorset prostate cancer patients were sent to Slough for the procedure but were removed from waiting lists there when it was thought they could be treated at Bournemouth.

Mr Mountford, who has been forced to take sick leave from his job as a traffic warden in Bridport, said: “It is just not good enough.

 “I’m scared that the cancer has spread and we were told the operation should have been done within five to six weeks.

“It is so distressing and frustrating because I just want to have the operation – it’s concerning my future so I don’t understand why someone can’t help me.

“I’ve been told they will call me soon with a date, but I’ve heard nothing.”

A spokesman for Dorset County Hospital said: “This situation is totally unacceptable for our patients and clinical managers are working on their behalf to resolve this as a matter of urgency.

“We apologise for the distress and inconvenience this is causing.

“Our consultants have been operating on their own patients at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, but in recent weeks the hospital has struggled to provide adequate theatre capacity for the surgery to take place.

“The Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are aware of this situation and are working to resolve this so that patients can be operated on as soon as possible.”

She added that Slough is not refusing treatment, they just assumed patients would now be going to Bournemouth.

Royal Bournemouth Hospital refused to comment on the issue.

MP in contact with health executives

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin said: “I have been in touch with constituents affected by this problem, with the lead consultant at DCH, and with the Clinical Commissioning Group.

“I have now received an assurance from the chief executive of the Clinical Commissioning Group that they will be working with the two hospitals (RBH and DCH) to sort out this wholly unnecessary and absurd ‘who does what’ dispute, so that West Dorset prostate patients can be properly treated by experienced and skillful DCH medics, using the technology available at RBH.”