Former nurse let down by scanner wait

A FORMER nurse has today told how she feels the NHS has let her down after waiting nearly a year for a scan, only to be told the results had then been lost.

A FORMER nurse has today told how she feels the NHS has let her down after waiting nearly a year for a scan, only to be told the results had then been lost.

The 48-year-old woman from Ipswich, who does not wish to be named, is one of several people who have had mix-ups with results after visiting a mobile MRI scanner.

She has been suffering severe pain in her shoulder and was referred for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan in November 2003.

After waiting for almost a year she received an appointment to go for a scan in October last year.


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She said: "I have 24-hour pain, there's no let-up, and my shoulder creaks like an old granny's, but I had to wait a year for the scan."

She was eventually called for a scan at the mobile MRI unit at Ipswich hospital and was told she would have results within six weeks.

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She said: "I didn't hear anything more and then in early January I got a phone call from the hospital asking me if I'd kept my appointment because they didn't have any record of it."

The woman is now waiting to see if the results can be found but has heard nothing.

She said: "Everything has come to a standstill because my physio doesn't want to do anymore treatment on my shoulder until she knows what the problem is.

"I feel like the NHS has really let me down.

"I'm in so much pain that I had to give up work five years ago and now I'm claiming incapacity benefits. I've already had to have surgery for crushed disks in my neck and I'm sure it's all connected to the lifting I had to do when I was a nurse."

Last week the Star revealed how the Strategic Health Authority have launched an investigation into the scanner, which travels to hospitals around the region, after receiving a number of complaints about delayed and unclear results.

It was based at Ipswich Hospital for a few weeks in October and December but there are no plans for it to return.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital said: "The mobile scanner is a national initiative that has been set up because there is increasing demand for diagnostic tests.

"We have to see the people with the most urgent clinical priorities first which unfortunately does mean people have to wait, but we're doing all we can to reduce waiting times.

"We recognise there were some teething problems and clearly we are concerned to hear of this lady's problems. I'd urge her to get in touch with our diagnostic imaging team so we can move things forward."

Have you had problems with the mobile scanner? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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