Belfast Telegraph

Special Report: Human face of health cuts: We were told there is a two-year backlog for my son's treatment

Case Study 1

Matthew Long with mum Kathryn McCready
Matthew Long with mum Kathryn McCready

Kathryn McCready (43) from Richhill, Co Armagh:

"My son, Matthew, was born with a very rare orthopaedic bone condition and he needed reconstruction done on his leg when he was four.

That was done at Musgrave Park and his treatment was fantastic, but he also has scoliosis and needs treatment for that.

He is seen every six months at Musgrave for his congenital bone condition and the surgeon referred him for the scoliosis.

He had the initial appointment in the middle of September and they said they were going to have to brace it and they would bring him back in January.

It came to January and we had heard nothing and he was in quite a lot of pain and very tired, so I gave outpatients a ring and was expecting to be told the letter had got lost in the post or there was a bit of a backlog.

So, I couldn't believe what I was told when the person I spoke to said there was a two-year backlog. I asked her why this was and was told it was a mixture of them having to reduce the number of clinics as there aren't enough staff and the lack of an Executive and funding.

I then got a cancellation for March but just had another letter to say the clinic has been cancelled so now we are back to waiting indefinitely. It's so difficult because Matthew is in so much pain and might have to wait another two years.

I'm not blaming the health service, they are as frustrated as I am, it is the Executive that is the problem.

Matthew can't do PE, it affects him every day, his social life, his friendships and because of where we live he is under the Dixon Plan and doing very important exams that decide which school he goes to next and this is affecting his studies.

I work in bereavement and palliative care and am very laid back but this is really frustrating me.

The politicians have lost a lot of respect."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph