Belfast Telegraph

Boy (7) with skull growth won't be treated until June

By John Mulgrew

A young boy suffering from a severe growth in his skull will have to wait almost a year to receive a diagnosis from a specialist consultant, his distraught family have claimed.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Helen Elliot (35), said she was told by Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital that her young son, Cameron (7), would have to wait until June 2012 before being seen by a neurologist.

She said the lump appeared to be growing and added that her son, who is currently in a special unit at Harmony Primary School, has become increasingly hyperactive.

"I am really really worried - it's his brain and his skull," she said.

"No one knows if there is any damage being done - I'm constantly worried. I mean it's his brain - it's his thoughts, movements and everything else."

Aged just 20 months, Cameron underwent six and a half hours of surgery to correct a skull deformation, which was putting pressure on his brain.

In February this year when his mother discovered the new growth, she said she was told by the hospital that her son was 14th in the queue and would be seen in up to 46 weeks - a period of time her GP told her was much too long.

Helen, who also lives with her son Nathan (13), said her concerns for Cameron's health were echoed following a recent parent-teacher interview.

"They were telling me they were worried about his academic ability and behaviour," she said.

In a statement yesterday, Belfast Trust said they were "sorry that any child should have to wait, however, the current demand for appointments for both paediatric and adult neurosurgery is much greater than current capacity".

The Trust said it was "working with the Health and Social Care Board to address this need".

In response, Helen Elliot said that was "not acceptable".

Background

At only 20-months-old, Cameron Elliot had surgery to correct craniosynostosis of the skull. According to his mother, Helen, a year later he was given the all clear. In February this year, she noticed another bump on his head. She was referred back to the Royal Victoria Hospital, but told they could not see a specialist until June.

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