Arthritis sufferer forced to wait for ankle op because hospital let down by joint supplier

Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

An arthritis sufferer from Boston had an operation on his ankle postponed after Pilgrim Hospital was left without any joint replacements.

Christoper Newton, 60, was due to have the operation last Friday – but his wife Rachel got a call from the hospital two weeks before to say it had been postponed until next month due to ‘missing machinery’.

When Mrs Newton phoned back she discovered the missing piece was the ankle itself – due to a problem with the suppliers.

“It’s very disappointing,” Mrs Newton said. “We have been waiting for this operation since October and I had booked time off work for it.

“My husband got himself ready for going in because it’s a big operation, and you need to be ready mentally for something like that.”

The couple – who had been through the pre-operation appointments and preparations by the time it was called off – have now been promised a date in March.

“We just hope it’s soon as he’s constantly in pain and has to use a walking stick, which then makes his wrists ache,” she said.

Mrs Newton, who is her husband’s carer, said they hope the operation can be done soon so that it will not affect a holiday they have booked later in the year for their 40th wedding anniversary.

She added: “We have joked that if he was a dog the vet would have put him down as they don’t let animals suffer.”

United Lincolnshire’s Hospital Trust (ULHT), which runs the hospital, said it will not be able to perform the procedures until March following a manufacturing problem at the suppliers end. The issue has affected two patients.

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the trust has had to postpone all ankle joint replacement surgery at Pilgrim Hospital because the supplier is unable to provide the equipment that we need to perform the operation.

”We can only apologise for this situation which is entirely out of our control.”

The spokesman said the issue was only affecting those requiring new ankle joints. They were not able to say how many people have had operations postponed as a result of the problem.

The spokesman added: “We entirely sympathise with the patient and would encourage them to contact us directly if they would like to discuss this matter further.”