Sussex

Cancer survivor in 'constant pain' after two year operation delay

Mrs Hyam (left) and her daughter Debi Whitehorn (right)
Image caption Mrs Hyam (left) said she felt degraded by her experience after successful bowel cancer surgery

A bowel cancer survivor has spoken of her distress after a two year delay in removing a stoma bag from her abdomen.

Anita Hyam said she is in constant pain and sleeps sitting up due to the bag and tube left behind unnecessarily.

Ms Hyam revealed she has suffered two hernias as a result and now needs "15 pills to get through the day".

The Royal Sussex County Hospital has apologised for the "unacceptable" delay, blaming "insufficient capacity".

'No quality of life'

Image caption Mrs Hyam said the stoma bag and tube had caused two hernias

Ms Hyam had an operation on her bowel to remove a lump two and a half years ago and the bag was due to be removed six months later.

Her experience of the hospital was good, her cancer operation a success and she was well cared for, she said.

But she said her experience since had left her feeling "degraded".

Three letters from her GP had failed to secure the bag's removal, she said.

One operation was arranged in Guildford but that had to be cancelled because of the complications the bag had caused.

Her daughter, Debi Whitehorn, said: "Mum has no quality of life. I just think it's wrong."

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust apologised unreservedly for the "unacceptable length of time" Ms Hyam has had to wait.

It said an operation had been booked for next month and added: "This is certainly not the standard of care we want for our patients and we do not underestimate the distress and frustration this has caused her...

"Regrettably, we have had insufficient outpatient and theatre capacity to treat all patients within the recommended timeframe and as a result we have had to treat patients in order of clinical urgency."

It said it is working to address the situation.

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