Cancer survivor told to wait more than two-and-a-half years for hospital appointment

ITV News Central Correspondent Mark Gough reports on a cancer survivor who is facing a long wait for a hospital appointment

A man from Shropshire will have to wait more than two-and-a-half years for a hospital appointment.

Andrew Jones was successfully treated for cancer five years ago and says his NHS treatments and the staff then were "brilliant".

But the operation left him with a bit of nerve damage to his bladder, meaning he needs to go to the toilet more than usual.

When the problem didn't get any better, he went to his GP who said they'd get him an appointment with a consultant.

Andrew's letter with an appointment set for 2025. Credit: ITV News

Soon after, Mr Jones received a letter inviting him to an appointment at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

But it wasn't for this year, nor the next or even the following year - but for 2025.

He had a quick glance at the letter and thought it was for 2023 but on a second look realised what it actually said.

"I thought, I'm going to be 64," he said.

"Ok I didn't think it was a life-threatening problem that I got, but I don't know that.

"I don't know what the problem is, so in 2025 it could be twice as worse."

Andrew says he understands the pressures on the NHS but was "absolutely gobsmacked"

The hospital says it's facing a backlog because of Covid and a shortage of urology staff.

The Acting Chief Operating Officer for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Sara Biffen said: "We would like to apologise for the wait for a urology appointment, with the service facing a backlog following Covid-19 and shortages of specialist staff.  

"We are doing everything we can, alongside partners, to reduce waiting times, including actively recruiting more urologists and nurses.

"We continue to prioritise patients with greatest clinical need, including cancer treatment, and regularly review the waiting list.  

"Working with partners we are exploring other providers who may be able to offer earlier appointments and we will continue to keep patients updated and supported."

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