James Paget Hospital told to pay compensation to patient who waited 42 weeks for treatment

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A hospital trust has been ordered to pay £1,000 to a patient who waited more than 10 months for medical treatment.

Failings at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were exposed by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which found that the patient suffered frustration and anxiety due to the wait.

Anna Hills, director of governance and workforce at the trust, said she welcomed the Ombudsman's inter-vention.

The patient, known only as Mrs F, was referred for knee replace-ment surgery in July 2012.

But her surgery was delayed, with the JPH claiming this was partly due to a backlog of operations from the previous winter.

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However, after receiving a complaint about the lengthy wait, the Ombudsman found that explanation was unacceptable because Mrs F had been referred long after the previous winter pressures would have tailed off.

According to the NHS Constitution, every patient 'has the legal right to start NHS consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks referral, unless you choose to wait longer or it is clinically appropriate that you wait longer'.

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The Ombudsman said: 'There were failings by the trust as there was a significant delay in arranging Mrs F's operation and poor communication with her over what was happen-ing with her treatment.

'These failings caused Mrs F unnecessary frustration and anxiety while waiting for surgery and prolonged her pain for a significant

period of time.

The trust has apolo-gised to the patient.

Ms Hills added: 'The Ombudsman provides a valuable service which is helpful in identifying where improvements can be made in patient


She said she was unable to comment further on the story because she 'did not have the patient's permission'.

Mrs F's story was one of several case studies published in a report by the Ombudsman which highlighted the impact of poor service from

public sector bodies.

Have you waited long for treatment?

Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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