Man pays £18,000 for private knee surgery due to 2-year wait, then gets NHS call to get it free

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John Peake, 75, was placed on a two-year waiting list for a knee replacement and paid £18,000 privately because of pain. When he got home, he got a call from the NHS to offer him a place.

John Peake, 75, put on a two-year waiting list for knee replacement and so he went private
John Peake, 75, was placed on a two-year waiting list for a knee replacement and so he went private (stock photo)

A retired man who jumped £18,000 from his retirement savings to a custom knee replacement due to a two-year waiting list was later offered surgery when he returned home.

John Peake, 75, was placed on the NHS waiting list for a worsening right knee after an orthopedic consultant at Stafford County Hospital decided that both of his arthritic knees needed to be replaced.

But Mr Peake was told he could wait up to two years for surgery and, being in so much pain, he decided he needed to dig up the £18,000 retirement savings he would need for private surgery.

He had the surgery privately on 29 September, and was given a call just three days after he was released from hospital to say he could have surgery on the NHS in the coming weeks, the Daily Mail reported.

The NHS North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reports that a cancellation has opened a loophole.



When Mr Peake returned home from his special op, he received a call from the NHS to say he had a time slot for him in the coming weeks.
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Picture:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)




Mr Peake of Staffordshire, daily mail : “My wife’s first thought was they called me to kick me because they knew I was going private. But I have absolutely no evidence that this is the case.”

What was even more frustrating for Mr. Peake was that when he asked if he could use his appointment to operate on his left knee instead, he was told he needed a new referral.

Waiting lists for operations have risen during the pandemic as the NHS is under pressure, and patients awaiting orthopedic treatment make up a significant portion of the 5.7 million people.

It is reported that there are less than 700,000 people waiting specifically for orthopedic surgery.

A Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCG spokesperson told the Daily Mail: “NHS clinical commissioners are working with all of our hospital providers to lower waiting lists and treat patients as quickly as possible.

“Extra capacity has been deployed in the independent sector, resulting in some patients being offered expedited appointments for orthopedic procedures.”


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