Blackburn patient in agonising two-year wait for new hips

Michael Moffatt with wife Anne

Michael Moffatt with wife Anne

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A DAD-of-three said he had suffered a ‘horrendous’ two years after fighting for the NHS to give him two new hips.

Michael Moffatt, from Blackburn, said his left hip replacement was delayed after a consultant at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust described him as ‘too young and too overweight’.

The 54-year-old was twice denied the procedure, despite managing to reduce his weight from 19 to 18-stone, while a recommended course of injections proved to be ineffective.

He was first told it was necessary in 2012, due to arthritis in his joints, and the long wait has left him housebound and unable to work for most of the last year.

In March last year he was offered a second opinion, and the new consultant agreed to carry out the operation.

Mr Moffatt, of Bolton Road, who worked for an engineering firm, said: “At this point I was relieved and thought I’d have the first operation in about June last year, but I didn’t get it until October.

“Then in January this year, I was told I’d need another on my right side. It was set for last month but it got cancelled and rearranged for August 28.

“It’s been so horrendous, I’ve been in agony for two years and the time it’s all taken has been so frustrating. I’ve been completely housebound and all my savings are gone. I’m probably going to lose my house and my car.”

Government-set targets mean patients needing a hip replacement should be treated within 18 weeks.

According to the dates given by Mr Moffatt and his wife Anne, he has waited about 28 weeks for both. The Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals spent several months struggling to clear a backlog of orthopaedic surgery cases in 2013/14, which led to the divisional 18-week target being repeatedly missed. The backlog has now been cleared.

Gillian Simpson, divisional general manager for surgery and anaesthetic services, said: “Mr Moffatt was scheduled for his procedure on July 21. On clinical safety grounds, the decision was taken to transfer his surgery to Royal Blackburn Hospital where Mr Moffatt was allocated the first available date and time for the surgeon he needs.

“We would invite Mr Moffatt to contact us directly if he requires more information or explanation.

She said there were ‘a few patients’ on the current hip replacement list who have waited longer than six months, adding this ‘can occur for a variety of justified clinical reasons’. No patients have waited longer than a year.

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