Seaton artist fast tracks hip operation

PUBLISHED: 01:01 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:22 11 September 2018

Mervyn Hewish presents the painting to Jen Lewis from the treatment centre. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Mervyn Hewish presents the painting to Jen Lewis from the treatment centre. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


Cancer survivor uses little known right to get earlier treatment

Renowned Seaton artist Mervyn Hewish, 71, used a little known right to fast track his hip replacement operation.

A cancer survivor, he was originally told he would have to wait a year for the surgery.

But he was able to cut the wait to just a few weeks thanks to choosing to have his new hip at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre.

He used a little known right within the NHS Constitution which says anyone told they must wait longer than 18 weeks for surgery, can ask to be transferred to another hospital with a shorter waiting list.

Mervyn experienced severe pain in his hip when he returned to walking after months recovering from operations and infections related to bladder cancer.

But when the waiting time for a hip replacement at his local hospital went from four months, to eight and then a year, he felt he could not bear the excruciating pain any longer.

He said: “I asked if I could go somewhere else to get treated faster, but I was told no. I even wrote to the Prime Minister and received a reply from my local MP. At this point I was desperate and in great pain, but one of our neighbours went on line and discovered that I could have the operation at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre within a month. I was so relieved and I had my first hip replaced there this March.”

“In the meantime my MP had intervened with my local hospital and they gave me a new, sooner date, but I had already made up my mind that I would be treated at Shepton Mallet. I had my second hip replacement at Shepton Mallet at the end of July and it has been a great success – I am even back to driving again.”

Chester Barnes, hospital director at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, said: “We are pleased Mervyn has been able to be treated faster here. He has used a little-known right within the NHS Constitution to be transferred to a shorter waiting list at another care provider.

Mervyn is so happy with his treatment that he has donated a painting of countryside near Minehead to Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre.

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