A 72-year-old man who travelled to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry for a biopsy on glands around his neck has been told that the procedure should have been carried out on both sides of the neck, and until the second procedure is completed his consultant is unable to decide on future treatment.

As previously reported in this paper, Roy Carney who lives just minutes from the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) had to travel to Derry for the procedure and subsequent appointments and due to lack of transport available had to spend a total of £260 in taxi fares.

It cost him £200 for the taxi fare on the day of the biopsy when he arrived at the hospital at 7.20am and was not discharged until 2.45pm.

It was not until a discussion with his haematologist that he discovered the mistake that was made.

Roy has expressed his frustration and surprise that this sort of mistake could happen.

“I was surprised and so is the haematologist,” said Roy.

“It’s all confusing. There is the EMT who was doing the biopsy but there is another guy, a haematologist and he did the referral in the first place so he’s now had to do a second referral to do another biopsy.

“They were supposed to have done both, they only did the one so it proved inconclusive.

“In the meantime the haematologist, he can’t decide on what the future treatment is until he knows what is found.”

As well as a delay in treatment, the result of another biopsy is that Roy will have to travel to Altnagelvin again for the second procedure.

Thankfully following the previous article on the taxi fares he had to pay, people have been in touch to offer transportation to and from the hospital.

For now it is just a waiting game for Roy.

“We are now effectively three months down the line and no further on.

“I would much rather get it over and done with, whatever you have to do do it,” he added.

A spokesperson for the Western Health and Social Care Trust said: “Respecting confidentiality the Trust cannot comment on an individual patient. If a patient or their relative has any issue in relation to their treatment we would encourage them to raise these issues through the Trust’s comments and complaints system - the Patients’ Advocate Office T: 028 7161 1226.

“Where possible the Western Trust attempts to appoint patients to clinical appointments closer to home and thus avoid the necessity to travel distance or incur expense to attend same; however this is not always possible.

“The Western Trust currently has arrangements in place to provide transport to transfer patients to the most appropriate hospital setting for emergency treatment, where necessary.

The Trust provides transport to patients with certain medical conditions after discharge and the transport provided is in line with their medical condition. Financial assistance is also available to meet the cost of travel to and from hospitals for people who experience financial hardship as defined by income benefit status, for example, be in receipt of income support or job seekers allowance.

“In most other cases patients are responsible for finding their own means of transport to and / or from hospital for treatment and care.”