Pensioner's hospital anger

A PENSIONER is to make a formal complaint about a hospital, claiming it had left him in "constant pain" after cancelling a number of operations.Reg Jones, from Fordham, was fit and active, a former soldier and professional footballer who walked his dog twice a day and enjoyed a healthy life.

By Roddy Ashworth

A PENSIONER is to make a formal complaint about a hospital, claiming it had left him in "constant pain" after cancelling a number of operations.

Reg Jones, from Fordham, was fit and active, a former soldier and professional footballer who walked his dog twice a day and enjoyed a healthy life.

But since he fell ill last summer, the 70-year-old claimed he had been badly let down by the health service and left in pain, barely able to walk.


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Mr Jones was taken to Colchester General Hospital with acute kidney pain on August 11 last year, where he was seen and sent home.

He was readmitted the following day, after further intense pain, and was later given an operation to try to remove at least two large stones from his right kidney.

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However, the operation was not a success and during a series of follow up visits and admissions Mr Jones claimed to have been told that he had suffered a heart attack and was given powerful cardiac drugs.

While waiting for the hospital to arrange further surgery for his kidney complaint, Mr Jones said he developed agonising pains in his joints because of rheumatoid arthritis, caused by the stones.

He added his health had also deteriorated after he contracted a bug in hospital that left him in quarantine on a ward, suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.

Mr Jones said he had also been given hospital appointments for surgery, but they had been cancelled at the last minute because of a shortage of beds.

The former landlord of the Sun pub in Lexden, who now has to visit the toilet six times a night and finds walking difficult, added: "I have not got another date.

"I phoned them up. The secretary said there's not a hope at the moment because all the beds are full. They are due to remove a stent and remove the stones.

"It is so painful, I am in constant pain, I can't go out, I can't walk the dog and I can't drive. It is very depressing and frustrating."

His wife Barbara added: "I can't bear to see him like this. I just want it to be done. We can't make any plans. He has lost so much weight and is in so much pain, it's awful.

"We thought about going private and getting equity relief on the house, but we just can't afford it."

Mrs Jones said she had compiled a dossier about the way her husband had been treated by the trust since August 2004 and intended to make a formal complaint.

A spokesman for Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust, which runs Colchester General Hospital, said: "We would like to apologise to Mr Jones for the disappointment he has suffered twice now by having his operation cancelled at short notice.

"On both occasions this was because emergency work which required theatres had to take place and we have to treat people on their clinical need, with emergency cases getting priority.

"We apologise for this and understand how stressful it is to get ready for an operation and then not have it take place."

He added: "We will have been in touch with him by next Tuesday to offer him another date for his procedure and we are hoping that will be in no more than two to three weeks time.

"The hospital has been under severe pressure from a very large amount of emergency cases which have been coming in over the last few weeks, and in response to this we are opening a ward with another 27 beds in it, which will take the pressure off the elective surgery lists."

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