NHS backlog: Yorkshire woman still waiting for surgery feels ‘scared’ for her future

A woman who has been partially deaf after having her treatment delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has said she feels “scared” for her future.

Asked only to be known as Erin, shehas been unable to work after developing an ear infection in the summer of 2019.

After six months of her ear bleeding and three courses of failed antibiotics, she was diagnosed with an aggressive Cholesteatoma, which is a skin-lined cyst that begins at the margin of the eardrum and invades the middle ear and mastoid.

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Over two years on, the 29-year-old from West Yorkshire is still waiting for surgery and has lost the hearing in her left ear.

There is a currently a huge backlog for NHS servicesThere is a currently a huge backlog for NHS services
There is a currently a huge backlog for NHS services

The former bar manager had to leave her job after becoming too ill to work and said she now feels as though she’s “lost hope”.

She said: “I haven’t been able to live a normal life. I’ve developed a serious anxiety disorder and haven’t had any help adjusting to being deaf. Another effect of it is that I have vertigo so it means I can be bed-bound for most of the week.

“I haven’t been able to work since I became ill which has been hard for me as I enjoy working and I was good at my job.”

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Throughout the pandemic, some surgeries have been postponed to help ease the pressure on NHS services.

However, this has resulted in a backlog of patients who are still waiting for treatment.

Erin is currently waiting to have a mastoidectomy to remove the bone behind her left ear but said she has “no idea” when her surgery could be.

She said: “I understand that the world is in crisis and that it took priority. But every night scared I’m not going to wake up, I can’t plan for my future.

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“I’ve lost everything I ever gained through years of hard work.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government is setting “tough targets” for dealing with the NHS backlog in England.

But ministers faced criticism for not releasing the full national recovery plan for dealing with the backlog in hospitals, which many had expected to be published that day.