Stroke survivor, 79, with heart problem told he must wait 40 weeks for hospital appointment

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A FORMER teacher and stroke survivor aged 79 fears he “could be dead” before the end of his 40-week wait for a hospital appointment.
Charles Menzies suffers from a heart problem and type 2 diabetes, and experiences severe pain in his legs.
But the three-time stroke survivor has been told he must wait nine months between seeing a GP and getting a hospital appointment.
Mr Menzie’s case is one of the most shocking examples of the 50,000 Scots who have waited longer than the 12-week target time set by the Scottish Government in 2012.
Mr Menzies, from Edinburgh, has atrial fibrillation, which means his heart beats irregularly. The condition is associated with increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
He said:”I’m very disappointed with the NHS. Forty weeks is an eternity to someone of my age.
Charles Menzies. Photo by Wullie Marr
“It’s so far ahead I can’t even contemplate it. The brutal truth is I could be dead before it – and then they will be annoyed that I’ve missed my appointment.”
Mr Menzies said he was not told about how long the waiting list would be and only found out after calling the hospital.
He added: “I’m not expecting any miracle treatment, I just want to know what is wrong with me.
“The doctor never said anything about waiting times, he just said he would be referring me
to the vascular clinic.
“I go swimming every day and it’s the only time I get out the house. I’ve got a car and
blue badge but if I didn’t have a car I couldn’t go. It’s too long to walk to get the bus.
“The only time I walk is to either go to my car or the kitchen.”
It is understood the average waiting time for a patient to be seen at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s vascular clinic is 42 weeks.
An NHS Lothian spokeswoman stated: “There can be a waiting list of around 42weeks as the demand is just too high. There is no other explanation for it and we try to prioritise as best as we can.”
She was unable to comment on whether further action was being taken in this case.
In 2011, the Patients Rights Act introduced a 12-week treatment time gurantee, whereby eligible will not wait longer than 12 weeks from the date that the treatment is agreed to the start of that treatment.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon conceded late last year that the guarantee had been broken in 53,257 cases since 2012.
Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director at NHS Lothian, said: “We are currently experiencing a high demand for our vascular services, and I would apologise to anyone who has had to wait longer than they expect to for an appointment.
“We make every effort to treat people as soon as possible, and our dedicated teams are working hard to increase capacity and to minimise these waiting times for our patients.”

 
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