Sheffield patient fears GP appointment and hospital delays during Covid-19 pandemic could put lives in danger
A worried diabetes patient has told how GP and hospital delays during the Covid-19 pandemic have left him in limbo while his brother has also suffered a delayed diagnosis for a serious condition.
Retired fabricator-welder Terry Naylor, aged 75, of Norton Lees, Sheffield, has been struggling for weeks to get test results back despite numerous phone calls to the hospital after he had a heart monitor fitted following a blackout at Easter.
Mr Naylor said he was taken to hospital by ambulance and underwent blood and heart tests but no one could establish the cause so he was fitted with a heart monitor and after his diabetic readings increased he was told not to drive.
He added: “I had this heart monitor fitted for 24 hours and I took it back and I have been waiting for the results and despite several phone calls from the hospital I have not heard anything other than I should have an ECG.”
The electrocardiogram appointment to check Mr Taylor’s heart also had to be postponed and needs to be re-arranged after his son tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr Taylor said he has called the Royal Hallamshire Hospital every week for at least three weeks for his heart monitor test results but they have still not come back.
The married father-of-three and grandfather feels the GP and hospital system needs reviewing in light of the difficulties faced by health services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Taylor said friends have also struggled to contact their GPs to arrange appointments and his brother suffered a one-month delay before he was able to see a GP and was later diagnosed with a growth in his bowel.
He added some patients, including his brother, have only a one-hour slot in the morning at their GPs to arrange an appointment and his brother claims to have tried over 50 times to get through to his GP and was told he had missed the slot and he would have to try again the following day.
Mr Taylor’s brother went to a walk-in clinic and he was urged to go back to his GP but he became so ill he went to hospital where it was discovered he had a growth and he finally got to see his GP.
Mr Taylor said: “I do realise we are in extraordinary times with Covid and the doctors are rushed off their feet but at the same time it doesn’t stop other serious illnesses happening - and this is what my problem is. People get ill with other things and cannot get to see a doctor.”
He added that GP practices using a daily one-hour phone slot to arrange appointments are not allowing patients enough time to make appointments and trying to do this everyday is like a lottery and that could be the difference between life and death.
Mr Taylor said: “I am not blaming the GPs. I understand the situation is frustrating and it is the same with the hospital. But I have phoned several times to find out the results of a heart monitor and cannot get anywhere and it’s frustrating because I cannot drive and it’s creating a lot of on-going problems.”