Grandmother to finally undergo operation after hospital’s financial troubles
- Credit: Nick Butcher
An 81-year-old left unable to walk when her hospital ran out of money has finally been told her surgery will take place on an 'urgent' basis.
Betty Battelley, from Dereham, had been due to undergo a replacement hip operation on November 30 at Spire Norwich Hospital, having been referred by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
But just two weeks prior, the grandmother received a phone call from NNUH saying the operation had been cancelled, before the hospital admitted it couldn't afford private referrals for the remainder of 2019/20.
As one of 131 patients whose scheduled operations and treatment were postponed, Mrs Battelley was placed on a general waiting list and faced an additional nine months of "awful pain".
Two months later she has been placed on an 'urgent' list, meaning her surgery should take place in the next two to three months.
"I've been to see my consultant this week who told me the operation has been on an urgent waiting list," said Mrs Battelley. "They've said I could potentially have my operation in the next couple of months.
You may also want to watch:
"My consultant and others have been doing their best to sort it out, and I feel so sorry for them because it is not their fault - it's beyond their control.
"I'm coping, but if anything I'm a bit worse than I was before. I'm still struggling to walk and having to use a wheelchair, and until the operation happens I won't get any better."
- 1 Norfolk wakes up to empty pumps – despite assurances of ‘ample fuel stocks’
- 2 Huge seaside home with indoor pool for sale for £600,000
- 3 Man dies in hospital after fight near Norfolk pub
- 4 The Bill star reveals he has moved to Norfolk and why he loves it
- 5 Why has a golden dome appeared in this Norfolk town?
- 6 Delays on roads as petrol queues continue
- 7 Queues form at Norfolk petrol stations - despite reassurances over stock
- 8 Dramatic pictures as huge barn fire breaks out near coast
- 9 Q&A: All you need to know about fuel shortages
- 10 A11 to undergo 18 months of roadworks
For several years hospitals have referred patients to private hospitals, such as Spire, in order to meet government waiting list targets.
But by November the NNUH's private sector cash pot had already run dry, forcing it to postpone more than a hundred referrals.
Mrs Battelley's operation could either take place at NNUH or Spire and, despite having to wait longer than anticipated, Mrs Battelley is grateful she will soon be on the road to recovery.
"You just have to accept these things in the end and get on with life as best you can," she added. "I know some people wouldn't be able to cope, but I am managing.
"I've told my consultant I don't care where it is, so long as I have it done."