Teen’s three-year hospital wait slashed to two weeks but family forced to seek private help

The letter offering an appointment at the Princess Royal Hospital Telford in June 2025

The boy was referred to a urology appointment at NHS Trust Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital by his GP, but his father said they were shocked to find he would not be seen until June 2025 – a 951-day wait.

The father has now revealed that while he is unable to pay for the appointment himself, the boy’s grandparents have offered to pay £250 for a private consultation, which will take place on 7 December.

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He said they are very grateful but added that similar situations will force more people to seek private care – with some unable to afford it.

He added that the family had been notified that his son’s condition, while not life-threatening, might require surgery – opening up more potential issues with waiting lists.

The boy’s father said he understood the NHS faced a range of problems, none of which were easy to solve, but said it was frustrating to see the difference in the time waiting for a private consultation.

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“I have a degree of sympathy for the government,” he said. “The NHS is such a monolithic structure that clearly has inherent weaknesses and inefficiencies, and it is difficult to manage a system with the fifth largest workforce in the world, I think.

“With an aging population and demands on the system, combined and multiplied by the social care system with family bans, then exacerbated by Brexit and European staff used to staffing a service that is no longer working, further complicated by Covid and the additional pressures, I have A degree of sympathy for anyone in charge of the NHS – I can’t imagine the new government coming in tomorrow could simply wave a magic wand to solve NHS problems.

“But for ordinary people who are in a cost-of-living crisis, even on the median wage, when they have a problem with health care and they’re given an option for an initial consultation years later, the private option to flip that two-and-a-half years wait a year into two-and-a-half weeks, it’s something Frustrating “.

He added that he doubted they would be able to afford private treatment after counselling, even with the help of other family members – with costs potentially running into the thousands.

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He said: “This is just an initial consultation to look at what the problem is. The GP said it could be a surgical treatment which privately would cost thousands.”

Following the report detailing the wait the family faced, another man from Shropshire, Andrew Jones, 61, came forward to say he had also been given an appointment on the same date.

Local health campaigner Jill George, from Shropshire who advocated for the NHS, described the situation as “horrific”, and said trust leaders should “hang their heads in shame”.

In a statement, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) apologized for the situation and said it was working with other healthcare providers to try to reduce current waiting times.

“We recognize that the current wait times are unacceptable,” said Sheila Fryer, interim executive vice president of operations.


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