A 72-year-old man has had to pay £260 in taxi fares to get to appointments at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Roy Carney, from Enniskillen was forced to get a taxi as there was no transport available and the appointments were not able to be held at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) just minutes from his home.

Last Wednesday, Roy had to travel to Altnagelvin for an appointment with a consultant which cost £60 in a taxi.

“Last week I went up and they just had a poke around and said we’ll let you know. Fortunately with a friend of ours travelling also it cost £60,” explained Roy.

On Tuesday, Roy was back up again at Altnagelvin for a procedure to remove a gland and have a biopsy.

With no palliative care driver available to take him to the appointment, he had no other choice than to order another taxi, which ended up costing £200.

He explained: “Only charities and palliative transport service are set up to do that sort of thing but there wasn’t a driver available for that morning.

“I arrived at 7.20am and was taken for the actual operation, by the time they did all the prep stuff and masses of paperwork it was 9.30am.”

Due to being under general anaesthetic Roy was not discharged until 2.45pm, the whole time the taxi was waiting outside for him.

“I think the assistant surgeon said the actual procedure itself would only take about 15 to 20 minutes.”

And to add the money he had to pay to get to and from Altnagelvin, Roy’s wife rang the hospital to get an update but Roy was unable to be located as he was not in a ward but on a trolley in a corridor.

Roy does not understand why his appointments could not have been held at SWAH as his first appointment three years ago was held there.

“The first time around when this flared up, they did a core biopsy and they actually did it here in the South West.”

And with the high possibility of having to return for further appointments, Roy fears he will have to spend even more money on taxis.

“There seems to be no joined up thinking.

“They don’t seem to be able connect anything and all roads lead to Altnagelvin,” Roy added.

The Impartial Reporter contacted the Western Health and Social Care Trust for a comment on the issue faced by Roy but they could not come back to us by the time of going to press.