A cancer-suffering amputee will have to wait for another month to have a pain-relieving injection after his hospital transport failed to arrive for a third week running.
Since private firm Coperforma took over the Patient Transport Service (PTS) on April 1, wheelchair-bound Cecil Buckley, 79, from Selsey has not been able to get to St Richard’s Hospital for an injection to ease pain in his one remaining leg.
On Wednesday, April 20, his transport failed to turn up for a third week running. His wife Anne, 77, said her husband was now in excruciating pain, and said they were now unable to now get a new appointment at until May 19.
Anne said: “They can’t fit us in until May 19, so it will be two months since he has had his last injection, which he badly needs in his one good knee to relieve pain.
“It’s not the hospital’s fault, they’re overrun, it’s Coperforma’s fault for not turning up for three weeks in a row. He’s now in total agony.”
Anne said that after her husband’s transport didn’t arrive for a third week on Wednesday, April 20, Cecil rang, and after waiting to get through for ‘nearly an hour’ was told a new vehicle would be sent.
“We thought we might still make the clinic so didn’t ring to cancel our appointment,” she said.
“But when the ambulance arrived the driver said he’d had a call to say the trip had been cancelled and legally he wasn’t allowed to pick us up because he needed permission.
“He tried to ring his office from our house, but he couldn’t get through to his own office for an hour, and by that time we’d missed our appointment again.
“I rang the hospital to cancel and they said they were still having so many problems with the service, it’s just farcical.”
Because Anne has Parkinson’s she’s unable to drive him herself and says a round trip in a specially customised taxi would have cost at least £50.
Now Cecil will have to wait in pain for another three weeks before his next appointment.
Since private firm Coperforma took over non-urgent transport services in Sussex on April 1, hundreds of people have complained about delays.
A Coperforma spokesperson said: “Coperforma is investigating the reasons why Mr Cecil Buckley’s transport has not arrived as it should and we will report back direct to him and his wife when we have completed our investigation.
“We apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience caused to date and will take steps to ensure Mr and Mrs Buckley are not let down again.”
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