A SECOND World War veteran who waited almost seven years for a back operation has finally received the surgery and is recovering in hospital.

Jack Bland, 85, who lost the lower part of his right leg after being shot in Northern Italy at the end of the war, suffered a lower vertebrae injury in 2006 after falling over a step.

He was confined to a wheelchair for four months, and ever since has asked for an operation on a painful small disc bulge at the lower level on his left side.

Royal Preston Hospital admitted him for surgery on Thursday November 15, two weeks after the Lancashire Telegraph published an article about his wait.

Mr Bland’s daughter, Pauline Dawber, 58, Accrington, said: “I want to thank the Telegraph, because we don’t know if he would ever have had the operation without it in the paper.

“It was only a week after it was printed that my father was notified that he’d finally be able to go in after all this time.”

Mrs Dawber said that when her father was admitted he was met by two hospital officials who apologised to him for having to wait so long.

A specialist division of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Preston Hospital, is believed to have begun investigating Mr Bland’s case.

Mr Bland was initially told his surgery would be on Friday November 16, before it was moved forward a day.

Mrs Dawber said: “I have to say I’ve lost some faith in the NHS. We pay for this service through our National Insurance and it’s just not good enough.”

“We guessed it might not be when they said it would because of how many times we’ve heard the same old story.

“We made sure to get it in writing this time, because it’s just word of mouth over the phone.”

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was unavailable to comment.