Health chiefs apologise over Leeds mum's operation wait due to lack of beds

A SINGLE parent who desperately needs surgery so she can be pain free when caring for her severely disabled daughter has said she feels 'let down' by the NHS.

Donna Chapman, 43, of Armley, underwent a pre-assessment for a hernia operation at St James’s Hospital last October and was told a date for the operation would be set within 18 weeks.

Ms Chapman said she is also suffering from a painful cyst on her body and went for another pre-assessment at St James’s in January.

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She said she was told on that visit a date had not yet been set for the hernia operation because the hospital was behind with operations due to lack of beds.

Ms Chapman, whose 14-year-old daughter Georgia Leigh has Aspergers, said: “I have to lift her and the hernia is causing a lot of pain.”

She added: “I think the system has let me down. I’m a full time carer. I have got to make sure I’m in a fully-fit condition to look after my daughter. I just need to get the operation done and get back to normality.”

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said: “The reality of these worsening problems facing the NHS is that people like Donna Chapman are forced to endure a wait stretching into months for treatment because the beds are simply not available.”

Suzanne Hinchliffe, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “During periods of extremely high demand for services we may regrettably have to postpone some planned operations.

“Our key priority is to ensure that patients receive the safest possible care and we have to prioritise patients whose conditions are clinically urgent, such as those with cancer.

“We know this is extremely upsetting for our patients and it is not something we ever do lightly. We would like to apologise to Ms Chapman for the upset and inconvenience this may have caused.”