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Short-staffed hospital unable to offer ‘life-saving’ surgery

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Summary of story from The Sentinel, July 20, 2011

A UK hospital refused to perform ‘life-saving’ brain surgery on a 61-year old woman due to short-staffing difficulties.

Maureen Colclough endured weeks of constant sickness and balance problems as she waited for an operation to remove a slow-growing tumour.

Ms Colcough had been told she needed an operation and was talked through the risks by her surgeon at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

However, the surgeon could not carry out the procedure because one of his colleagues had retired and not been replaced.

Instead Ms Colclough had to wait for an operation at an NHS hospital in Sheffield.

Now the former catering assistant has lodged an official complaint.

“At the University Hospital, the surgeon did the interview with me, told me I needed the surgery, told me all about it, then said he wasn’t prepared to do it because his assistant had retired,” she said.

“I was shocked that I could be refused vital surgery because of a vacancy in the department. Since Christmas I had not had a day when I hadn’t felt ill.

“I went from someone with an active social life, who used to go swimming, cycling, walking and partying to being pretty much a recluse.”

She added: “My surgeon at Sheffield saved my life. I’m still on the mend after the operation, but I feel so much better. It has changed my life. It was like a miracle.”

University Hospital officials today confirmed a new consultant will start work in that area in September.

  1. BarryMayor says:

    There was no one to do the surgery at the time. Surgeons don’t grow on trees. It can takes months to find a replacement. She eventually got the surgery and it was 100% free. She should be grateful she was able to get it at all. Did I mention that it was free?

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