Mum's fury after son's op cancelled

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

AN Ipswich mother has hit out at the NHS after her son's operation was postponed leaving him having to face his first day back at school without vital corrective surgery.

AN Ipswich mother has hit out at the NHS after her son's operation was postponed leaving him having to face his first day back at school without vital corrective surgery.

Alex Carpenter is waiting for an operation at Ipswich Hospital to help correct a cleft lip and his mother is so angry at the way he has been made to wait that she is considering taking legal action against the hospital. The operation was due to take place on August 17 but a short letter sent from the hospital postponed it to September 28.

Viv Carpenter, of Downside Close, said: "I am really upset, Alex does not look like the other children and I am worried that he will have a bad time at school because he is different. Alex is a young boy who will need a lot of attention from the NHS over the years and I am not happy with the way we have been treated. We were only told two days before the operation that it would not be going ahead. There was no explanation at all.

"I had already discussed the prospect of going private with the hospital and they told me it would not be worth it as I would have to wait just as long. Then came the news that the operation was cancelled."

Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell, said the hospital were concerned to hear of the Carpenter's problems. "We are always concerned to hear of problems like this and we urge the family to contact us so that we can sit down face to face and discuss Alex's treatment.

"The hospital work hard as a team to prevent things like this happening and if the family get in contact we can look in to the circumstances surrounding the cancellations.

"We are a really busy hospital and the surgeons who carry out plastic surgery are visiting consultants from Norwich as this is our regional centre. "Everything is done to make visits, especially children's visits to hospital easier and we regret the Carpenters had such a difficult time."

Alex, who is five on Monday, has just started St Marks' Catholic School and before this he attended Just Learning Nursery where Mrs Carpenter said he came on leaps and bounds.

"The nursery were marvellous and he was doing really well there, he could not write his name before he went their but now he can and he used to sing nursery rhymes all the time.

"I can not praise them highly enough they really work wonders with the children.

"I am really worried that he will start to go backwards now because he has not had this surgery before school and so he will have to take time off."

This is not the first time the Carpenters have had problems with the NHS. When he was waiting for a previous operation his mother took him in and he was even given a pre-med only to be told that he was not on the surgeon's list and he had to go home again.

"Again and again we have faced problems and I have had enough and I am considering taking legal action against the hospital."

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