A BRIDLINGTON mum-of-two, confined to her bed for nearly 18 months while waiting for medical treatment, says she has received “disgraceful and unfair” care from local hospitals.
Since before Christmas in 2009, Michelle Kotchie, 39, of Bempton, has been unable to move from her bed as she suffers from serious spondylosis of the spine.
Despite this, Bridlington, Scarborough, Castle Hill and Seacroft Hospital in Leeds will not admit her for what is a relatively simple procedure.
Michelle, who is mother to two daughters aged 16 and 20, said: “I don’t know where I can go from here. I’m a prisoner in my own home now.
“All I want is to have the treatment that can give me my life back.”
Throughout the last 18 months, Mrs Kotchie has been referred to hospital by her GP for a treatment which would allow her to sit up in bed, use a wheelchair, and begin physiotherapy – and to spend time with her family.
However, according to her husband Shaun, each of the hospitals has refused to give her
the treatment she needs.
“When Michelle has to travel to hospital she runs the risk of having very serious and painful spasms in her back, but apparently there are no beds at Bridlington or Castle Hill to accommodate her,” said Mr Kotchie.
“It is actually quite a simple procedure of injections into Michelle’s back which would allow her to get out of bed, do some physiotherapy and have a life worth living.
“We have been told that the reason Michelle cannot have the treatment is because it is classed as an out-patient procedure, but Michelle would need to have an overnight stay because of how serious her condition is.
“Quite simply, the way that the NHS has treated Michelle is a breach of her human rights. This is a serious case of medical negligence.
“We were also told that because Michelle missed three appointments at Bridlington Hospital, because of the pain and heavy medication she is on, they would not now treat her.”
Mr and Mrs Kotchie contacted Bridlington MP Greg Knight, who wrote to hospital clinical directors in an effort to help Michelle receive treatment.
He said: “The situation appears to be far from satisfactory and I have made, and will continue to make, a number of enquiries into Mrs Kotchie’s case.”
James Hayward, Director of Facilities and Patient Administration, Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Patients referred to the Trust who fail to attend their scheduled outpatient’s appointment are routinely discharged unless there are specific extenuating circumstances.
“To be referred back to the hospital patients must see their GP or Consultant, who will refer them to the Trust as a new patient.
“The Trust is working hard to reduce its ‘Did Not Attend’ rate and we would ask patients who are unable to make a given appointment to contact us as soon as possible to avoid situations such as this.
“The Trust aims at all times to negotiate appointments, admission dates and times with patients. However, it is important that if a patient is unable to make a scheduled appointment for any reason, they should contact the telephone number on their outpatient’s letter to rearrange the appointment.
“This means that the appointment can be used by another patient, helping to ensure that all patients are seen within 18 weeks.”
Mr Kotchie told the Free Press that last week, Seacroft Hospital in Leeds had also refused to treat Michelle, as the distance for her to travel would be too far.
A spokesman for Castle Hill hospital, in Hull, said it could not comment on individual cases, only confirming that “the pain clinic at the hospital has no provision for overnight accommodation”.
Mr and Mrs Kotchie did run Oscar’s cafe on Bridge Street until Michelle’s condition worsened, leading Shaun to “just hand back the keys” of the business to the landlord in order to take care of his wife full time.
“Everyone deserves to be treated on the NHS so we cannot understand why nobody will take any responsibility and help Michelle,” continued Mr Kotchie.
“Michelle has developed Diabetes and a host of other medical problems because she is bed ridden.
“We have two carers coming in three times a day and a district nurse every week, surely it would be more cost effective for someone to take the responsibility and just get the treatment sorted.”
Mr Kotchie also said that Michelle had been in Hull Royal Infirmary for nearly a week earlier in the month for another medical problem – but was not offered the treatment they both say would “give them their lives back”.
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