Two year wait for toe treatment

YOU will have to wait two years before we can cut your toenails.That was the verdict that shocked an Ipswich pensioner who needed the procedure to ease her suffering.

YOU will have to wait two years before we can cut your toenails.

That was the verdict that shocked an Ipswich pensioner who needed the procedure to ease her suffering.

Now an Ipswich family may move out of Suffolk because of the poor standard of the NHS.

Valerie Jennings, 63, slipped on some wet grass in December 2002 and broke her ankle. She had her foot in plaster for eight weeks and was unable to cut her toenails.

She went to the Pinewood Surgery in Shepherd Drive to see if a doctor could do it for her.

However, she was told she would have to go on a hospital waiting list and it could be between 18 months and two years before she would be seen.

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She eventually paid £14 privately to get her toenails cut at The Clinic in Felixstowe Road.

Mrs Jennings, who lives at Lavender Hill, Ipswich, said: "It is wrong that people have to wait so long to get treatment. The toenails really hurt and were curling into the top of my toe."

Her family had moved to Suffolk 18 months ago after living in Southend, Essex. However, they say they will move back there if the health service in Ipswich does not improve.

In January, her husband Hubert Jennings, 75, needed a hearing aid but has been told he may have to wait until October before he can be get one.

Their son Lee Jennings, 41, said: "Any nurse in a standard surgery should be able to treat an in-growing nail. Ipswich is a bigger residential town than Southend, and that is like a tip, but at least you do not have to wait a year to see someone.

"A town the size of Ipswich should have a better NHS than it has actually got.

"We moved here for a slower life, but two things let this town down - the NHS and the railway service. There are a lot of pensioners here and they need a good health service."

A spokesman for the Ipswich Primary Care Trust said current waiting lists for this treatment are between three weeks and a year. He added: "We have not received any formal complaint from Mrs Jennings and would welcome the opportunity to discuss her concerns.

"Although we strive to provide a first class service, referals to the podiatry service across Suffolk are extremely high and patients are having to join a waiting list."

Regarding the lack of hearing aids, a spokeswoman for the Ipswich Hospital and Care Trust said: "Any wait is too long but we have to base the service on delivering the best care for everyone."

n What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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