Stevenage pensioner with genital rash: ‘I’d been waiting to see someone since July’

Cancer treatment and A&E waiting times targets are being missed.

Cancer treatment and A&E waiting times targets are being missed. - Credit: Archant

A pensioner who has suffered from a genital skin condition for more than three years was left to suffer for months after repeated appointments to see a dermatologist were cancelled.

Linda Maidment, who lives in Stevenage Old Town, started having problems with a vaginal rash three years ago. Initially doctors thought it was thrush but the problem kept getting worse and she had a biopsy at Hertford County Hospital two years ago where it was discovered that she was suffering from Lichen sclerosus – an incurable but treatable condition that makes the skin severely itchy and can leave sore white spots.

After this the 64-year-old former carer was put on a course of steroid treatment, which failed to work and she was referred back to Lister Hospital in Stevenage to see a dermatologist.

Linda, who finally saw a doctor yesterday, Wednesday, said: “I’m really annoyed at how I’ve been treated. I’ve been waiting since early July to see someone about my condition and it’s only when I contacted the Comet that anything was done. I saw the doctor and she apologised to me and said it should never have happened. Now I’m hoping that it will get better because the whole thing has been horrendous. I’ve got no sex life because of it and it’s so itchy that I’m constantly waking up in the middle of the night to scratch.

“It’s always burning down there and now they’ve given me cream to put on before apply steroid cream because it hurts so much.

“If I wanted to cancel an appointment I’d have to give at least 24 hours notice but they can do it at the drop of a hat. On Monday they rang me up three hours before my appointment and told me there wasn’t a doctor available. That was the third time it’s happened to me this year which is disgraceful.”

In response Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Herts NHS Trust, said: “Our dermatology team has now been in touch with Linda, apologising for the problems she encountered with her recent appointments, one of which was cancelled for reasons outside of the trust’s control. As a result, she had her outpatient appointment yesterday morning.”