Pensioner waits more than a month for vital op amid nurse shortage

Peter Chruszczewski (70) who is waiting for a heart operation a month after being told he'd suffered a heart attack
Peter Chruszczewski suffered a heart attack last month. Credit: Peter Chruszczewski

A 70-year-old patient says he has been stuck in hospital waiting for a vital operation more than a month after being told he had suffered a heart attack.

Peter Chruszczewski, from Chard in Somerset, has told ITV News a lack of nurses means consultants are unable to say when he will have the operation.

"I've been told they used to do six operations a day, but now they only doing two because of a lack of intensive beds and intensive care nurses," he said.

"The surgeon said he has absolutely no idea when I'm going to go in (for the operation)."

The delay comes as the number of patients waiting for treatment has hit a new record with nearly six million waiting to start treatment in England.

Mr Chruszczewski went in for a routine ECG to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton on September 13 and was found to have had a heart attack. He requires a heart bypass and new valve and was sent to the Bristol Heart Institute.

Operations have reduced due to a lack of hospital staff

"The surgeon told me I'm in the right place and I'm on the waiting list but the poor nurses are rushed off their feet and short-staffed and put under a lot of pressure," he added. "I really feel for them."

He said the government is not taking the problems surrounding the NHS seriously enough.

"The plight in the NHS is real and not getting any better and we have not reached the winter yet, then where will the beds come from?"

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said: “We apologise to Mr Chruszczewski for the delay he is experiencing, and to any of our patients who are in a similar position.

"Like many hospitals across the country we are facing significant staffing challenges, alongside a higher than normal number of acutely ill emergency patients for this time of year and delays in discharging into the community. 

"In order to ensure we have the staff in place to maintain safe care for our existing and emergency patients, our ability to proceed with planned surgical procedures can be impacted.

"Our staff are working as hard as they can and the situation is kept under constant review. We aim to reschedule any patients impacted as soon as possible. The Trust also has a number of recruitment drives underway to attract more staff.”