Delay brings a life on painkillers: The threatened UCLH group feels market forces bite as health authorities look for cheaper patient care. Celia Hall reports
Monday 11 October 1993
The operation she has been waiting for since March 1992 is very painful. Mrs Johnson knows this because she underwent the same surgery on her right knee in 1984, after a wait of two months.
None the less, she is desperate for the operation. 'The pain has got a lot worse in the past few months. I get about a little with my stick. I do the best I can. I try to persevere.'
Mrs Johnson, who lives in Muswell Hill, north London, believed that by now her mobility would have been restored.
In summer, she was given a date for the operation: 23 August - 17 months after her consultant out-patient appointment. The operation, which was to have been at University College London Hospital (UCLH), was then cancelled.
In September, she received a letter from the hospital to say that as the New River Health Authority no longer had a contract with UCLH, the hospital could not treat her.
Mrs Johnson appears to have been caught in an administrative time warp caused by the transfer of waiting lists to other, cheaper hospitals.
In April New River decided to reduce the number of patients it sent to UCLH, which as as a central London teaching hospital has prices 10 per cent higher than hospitals in the suburbs.
Last week, after loud and public protests, Mrs Johnson's GP, Dr Margaret Safranek, succeeded - through an extra-contractual referral - in winning her patient a bed at UCLH, where she had been treated previously. UCLH has now given Mrs Johnson a date in November. She is crossing her fingers that this time she will be treated.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
North Korea calls Barack Obama 'a monkey' in latest attack as 'The Interview' row festers
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...