Father's shock after teenage son given three-year wait for hospital appointment in 2025
A 16-year-old boy referred for hospital checks has been given an appointment in June 2025 – a wait of 951 days.
The boy's father said he was astonished after Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) confirmed that the date given in the letter was not a typo.
The teenager has been referred to the hospital trust for assessment of a urology-related problem – but will be 18 when the day of his appointment comes around.
The appointment, at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, is set for June 25, 2025.
SaTH has apologised and said it recognises "that the current waits are not acceptable".
It said recruitment issues and the "continued impact of Covid" were part of the problem.
Speaking to the Shropshire Star, the boy's father said that the problem was not life-threatening, but was one which causes considerable discomfort.
He said the family does not have enough money to seek private help and have been left dismayed at the situation.
He said: "I thought it was a typo and was going to ask 'do you mean 2023?'.
"We were expecting a nine-month wait would be on par for where we thought the NHS was with waiting lists but to speak to the person in the booking office, I think she already anticipated my question before I asked it and said 'yes, we have fielded a lot of these calls, particularly for urology'."
He said that while he understood the matter was not life-threatening, it was still having a significant effect on his son's life.
He said: "His life is not in danger but it is a sensitive problem and he is 16 years old."
He added: "We were anticipating, almost accepting that it would be a few months but to be told it is 951 days – over two and a half years – I was just incredulous.
"If nothing changes my son has to go on with this problem until he is 18."
Shrewsbury Liberal Democrat Councillor for Bowbrook, Alex Wagner said the situation was unacceptable.
He said: "This is possibly the worst case of the NHS backlog failing a patient that I have seen in a long time. To ask someone in need of care to wait for three years is simply unacceptable, and is a damning example of the quality of the service in Shropshire.
"People deserve good quality NHS care when they need it, and quickly – not 951 days late. We cannot go on like this. It is letting patients down, letting our hard-working staff down as they work in impossible conditions, and it casts shame on the Government."
Sheila Fryer, interim deputy chief operating officer at (SaTH, said: “We would like to apologise for the wait for a urology appointment. This length of delay is rare and we would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can, alongside partners, to reduce the amount of time patients are waiting for an appointment.
“Recruitment challenges in urology and the significant pressure due to the continued impact of Covid have led to the delays. We are working to recover as quickly as we can – we are in the process of contacting patients who have been waiting a long time for a urology appointment. This is to ensure our lists are as accurate as possible and we can avoid offering appointments that are no longer required.
“We are also working with other healthcare providers to see if they can support the reduction of waiting times at SaTH. We recognise that the current waits are not acceptable.”