AN ANGLESEY pensioner has been waiting 89 weeks for a double knee operation and says that there is still no news of when her surgery will be due.
Barbara Conway, 68, was originally meant to have an operation to replace a knee in December 2016, which was 12 months after her initial appointment.
But during her wait for treatment, the condition of her other knee deteriorated, so she returned to see a consultant at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.
In September of last year, the surgeon told her that she would have to wait a further 17 weeks for a double knee operation.
Now, almost a year on, Barbara, who lives in Cemaes Bay with her husband, Thomas, is still waiting for a date for the surgery.
She said: “I understand that there are cuts being made and orthopaedic issues are not classed as life threatening but no one seems to know what’s going on.
“The waiting time seems to be going up and up and I still don’t know when the surgery is going to take place.
“I’ve made numerous complaints to various departments because if we don’t do something then this issue with waiting times is going to continue and get worse.”
She added: “I feel quite fit and healthy in general but I do sometimes find it difficult as it can be very painful and my knees are only going to keep deteriorating until I have this surgery.”
Barbara now fears if a new mould has to be made for her other knee, she might have to wait until 2018 for the operation. She said: “I attended a pre-op appointment in May and there were no problems then I had to go back in June to sign the consent forms.
“I was told to get prepared but then nothing happened. It was very disheartening and I’m worried that I may have to wait until January now.
“It was after all this waiting that I decided to make a complaint but I was passed from one department to the other constantly.
“It just seems that they’re always trying to pass the buck on to someone else and nobody is taking responsibility for their actions.”
Last week, the Royal College of Surgeons reported the number of people in North Wales waiting more than a year for operations had risen from zero to 1,200 in two years.
And the March 2017 overall total was almost double the previous year’s 641 patients.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “We have a situation where patients with chronic pain and limited mobility are being forced to wait more than a year for treatment and it is simply unforgivable.
“Every time I have raised this issue with the Cabinet Secretary, we have been assured a corner has been turned. But no real evidence of improvement has appeared in the statistics.
“Every week I send letters to the health board on behalf of Ynys Môn constituents regarding orthopaedic waiting times and until something is done, the situation is fast becoming a crisis.”
The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has said that reducing the orthopaedic waiting list would be one of its “main priorities”.