My cancelled Northampton General Hospital appointments have cost me £6,000, says pub boss

Pub boss David Cooper is unable to work because of a broken wrist bone. But a series of cancelled appointments at NGH has cost him thousands.
Pub boss David Cooper is unable to work because of a broken wrist bone. But a series of cancelled appointments at NGH has cost him thousands.
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A publican who has been unable to work after snapping his wrist bone says series of cancelled operations at Northampton General Hospital has left him in agony... and a £6,000 staff bill.

David Cooper, landlord of the Royal Oak in Towcester, broke his wrist after rolling over in bed in November and was initially seen by doctors on November 7, who put his right forearm in a temporary cast.

Northampton General Hospital has faced unprecedented demand for its services this winter.

Northampton General Hospital has faced unprecedented demand for its services this winter.

But when the 47-year-old visited the fracture clinic at Northampton General Hospital on January 4 for an arranged appointment, he was forced to wait 90 minutes before being told his consultant had called in sick that day.

But after three further cancelled bookings he is still yet to see a specialist. On the last occasions, on January 16, he went to the fracture clinic at 4pm only to be told he had been allocated the wrong doctor - and that his MRI scan had been lost.

Now he is not due to see a doctor again until February 22, at which point he does not know whether he will have to have another MRI scan, a process which could delay any operation for weeks.

Meanwhile he is having to pay extra staff to cover his absence from work.

"It's nearly cost me £6,000 since November and I'm still in limbo.

"I have no idea what's going to happen on February 22, or if they've found my scans. I could be looking at March or April."

Mr Cooper spoke to the Chron to highlight unprecedented pressure being faced by the NHS this winter.

Describing the scene in the fracture clinic on January 4, when two consultants had called in sick and created an appointment backlog, he said: "There were people having to lie on the floor with their back against the wall.

"It was packed in there, it was just like a third-world country."

However he believes the hospital could be doing more to help deal with the pressure.

The fracture clinic would have known that hey were without two doctors hours in advance and could have warned those with appointments before they turned up, he said.

The lost MRI scan, he feels, could have been easily avoided.

"I'm not looking for compensation, I just want to let people know this is happening."

Northampton General Hospital has apologised to Mr Cooper for his cancelled appointments.

A spokeswoman said: "We are sorry for the delays and cancellations Mr Cooper has experienced and understand his frustration.

"Unfortunately he is having to wait longer than we would like for his operation but we are doing all we can to ensure that no-one waits any longer than necessary.

"We are dealing with unprecedented levels of demand for our services and this is having an impact on all areas of the hospital.

"A formal complaint was received from Mr Cooper on January 18 and the issues he has raised are now being investigated."