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Telford boy, 6, has 'urgent' hospital appointment moved five times in a row

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | Health | Published:

A mother has criticised a Shropshire NHS trust after her six-year-old son’s ‘urgent’ hospital appointment was cancelled five times in a row.

Tracy Chapman took her son, Finley Gilham, to see a dermatologist in Telford when she discovered a lump on his neck.

An urgent referral to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital was made on March 11 and the 33-year-old, of Brookside in Telford, was told her son would be seen within a three-week period.

But Tracy says this hospital appointment was cancelled five times, until it was moved to a date in June.

It has since been moved forward to a date later this month.

Bosses at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, have said that sometimes cancelling appointments is ‘unavoidable’ and have apologised for any inconvenience.

But Tracy says the repeated cancellations have been a ‘constant concern’ and the lump on her son’s neck has grown in size.

She said: “He saw a dermatologist in Donnington in March and was referred to PRH as an urgent case for a lump on his neck that is still growing.

“He was sent to have it removed and tested.

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“We were told it was going to take two to three weeks maximum for him to be seen, but they have cancelled his appointment five times.”

Finley Gilham

She claims one of the appointments was cancelled two hours beforehand, while another cancellation happened the day before it was due to take place.

Tracy added: “I contacted the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) after the fourth cancellation and got nowhere with the bookings team who advised the fifth appointment would not be cancelled.

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“However it was. I called PALS again who said they have no power over appointments.

“We are absolutely disgusted with my son’s care and are so worried the lump may be something of a worrying nature.

“This is a six-year-old boy. There’s a lump that’s growing on the back of his neck.

“It has grown from the size of a pea to the size of a small grape. It’s a constant concern.

“The way they have kept on cancelling appointments is horrendous.

“We were given an appointment in June. It has been brought forward but they have still cancelled his appointments five times. If this has happened to my son, how many other people is it happening to?”

Unavoidable

Dr Edwin Borman, medical director at Sath, said: “While we cannot discuss individual patients in any detail, I can confirm that the trust has been in touch with Ms Chapman through PALS to discuss the reasons for the cancellations.

“A new appointment has been made.

“It is never our intention to cancel appointments, but sometimes this is unavoidable and we apologise for any concern and inconvenience this may have caused.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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