East Coker resident Jane Carter-Uren has accused local MP Marcus Fysh of not taking arthritis seriously. She is concerned that he failed to answer her correspondence and did not meet the charity Versus Arthritis for a parliamentary briefing on delayed joint replacements. Jane Carter-Uren, who is a parish councillor and secretary of the local Labour Party, is a long-term arthritis sufferer. She needs regular appointments and surgery at Yeovil hospital but has suffered repeated delays and cancellations. She wrote to Mr Fysh on 18t February 2022 asking him to attend a briefing on dealing with rising joint replacement waiting times organised by Versus Arthritis in the Houses of Parliament. She was very dismayed that the Yeovil MP failed even to acknowledge her invitation.
Versus Arthritis, which is the biggest UK arthritis charity, wants MPs to engage with the local Integrated Care support manager, to “bring together NHS providers, local authorities and commissioners from across local areas to work in partnership to improve health and care services where you live. This includes responsibility for implementing plans to tackle the surgery backlog and providing joined-up care and support to those waiting for planned treatment, such as joint replacements”.
Jane Carte-Uren says: “I’m currently waiting for a shoulder replacement. I have faced multiple cancelations due to no bed being available. Preparation for such a major life-changing operation are massive. Long delays and cancellations mean that people like myself are being repeatedly left down at the last minute. We are left in excruciating pain and emotionally strained. It creates major impacts on our whole world, with a constant feeling of being on edge and not knowing when our surgery will happen. This affects both our physical and emotional well-being. i’m very disappointed that my MP did not respond to my message or take advantage of the opportunity to discuss how arthritis care could be improved. I’m worried that arthritis seems to be slipping down the list of priorities in the NHS. I want my MP to meet the local integrated Care Services manager to press for an end to treatment delays, focusing on joint replacement surgeries.
Terry Ledlie, Chair of Yeovil Labour Party, said: “the government needs to invest to ensure that waiting times fall, that appointments are not just repeatedly cancelled and that response to arthritis is a fully joined-up service.”