A DAD-of-two left ‘bed bound’ and in ‘extreme pain’ says his hospital care was compromised due to the pandemic.
Jon – who wishes to remain anonymous – suffered a stiff back in November after fixing a leaking roof at his Leamington home.
Jon, who is in his mid-30s, went to physio sessions but his condition worsened, and on January 7 he felt a pain in his leg which left him unable to walk.
After spending the day bed bound, an ambulance was called and Jon was taken to Warwick Hospital.
It was there he was diagnosed with a herniated disc leaving him with reduced sensation in his left foot and unable to move from his bed.
He told the Observer: “In hospital, the care I received from the nurses, porters and radiography staff was unquestionable, in particular the specialist pain nurse.
“Where I take issue is in the decision making of the doctors and consultants whose care I was under at Warwick Hospital – which felt like I saw a different one each day or some days no doctor came at all – and the neurology team at UHCW who, despite my confirmed herniated disc, obvious pain and inability to move from my bed, still prescribed ‘conservative management’ with analgesia and neuropathic medication.
“Essentially as I could still move my legs despite the pain, and had control of my bladder and bowel, I was not deemed urgent and not operated on.
“They wanted me to be discharged once I could pass a ‘stairs test’ with crutches so I could then be seen as an outpatient for the condition that had me bedridden when the pain was not under control.
“This was to my disbelief as I could not walk, dress or wash myself and was in a huge amount of pain with any movement and could not even sit, which remained the case for the duration of my stay at Warwick Hospital.”
Jon made the decision to seek treatment privately using his life savings.
He arranged for a private ambulance and appointment, but before he left Warwick Hospital was made to complete the stairs test, which he says he managed to do ‘through the pain’ despite several failed attempts.
The private consultant decided surgery was needed urgently to save Jon’s foot function and booked it for the following week.
But the operation did not go ahead after Jon was contacted and told to self-isolate due to someone on his ward confirmed to have covid-19.
He said: “I was crushed. Even my attempt to fix myself by paying to go privately meant the surgery was delayed and there was a risk I had been infected and brought covid-19 home to my family who I was trying to protect.
“I immediately isolated and the day after finding out I was a ‘contact’, I developed a bit of a cough which got worse.
“I ordered a covid-19 postal test – since I was already isolation and bedridden – and it came back positive. Just when I thought this couldn’t get any worse and the light was at the end of the tunnel.
“Having contracted coronavirus, I was then also informed that my surgery was further delayed as the private hospital does not operate for 14 days after infection and isolation, and then require a further 10 days isolation before being operated on, as well as having to pass a covid test before the surgery.”
But Jon has now been able to have his private operation, which took place on Friday (February 12).
He said he is delighted to be out of ‘excruciating’ pain and on the road to recovery.
A South Warwickshire Foundation Trust spokeswoman said: “The wellbeing of our patients is the trust’s number one priority and we would like to express our sincere apologies this individual contracted covid-19 while in our care. We have robust infection control measures in place across all of our sites. Unfortunately during this time we have experienced an exceptionally high number of asymptomatic patients coming into hospital with coronavirus, which has made controlling cross infection more difficult but we are confident that our staff do everything they can to prevent this occurring.
“The trust is unable to comment on patient specific details due to confidentiality, however we would encourage the patient to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service so we can have the opportunity to carry out a thorough investigation and respond appropriately.”
And a UHCW spokesman said: “Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment on individual patient’s care.
“UHCW NHS Trust is committed to providing safe, high quality healthcare for our patients at all times. If any patient has an issue with their care we encourage them to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service to allow us to carry out a thorough investigation and respond appropriately.”