A WOMAN who was facing an agonising wait for surgery at York Hospital because of Covid has now been told it can go ahead after all.

Heather Beckett says she is overjoyed by the U-turn, which came a day after The Press had raised her case with the hospital trust.

Mrs Beckett, 57, of Pocklington, said she had now been told the operation on a hernia would go ahead today, when she had previously been told a date could not be given because of the impact of the pandemic.

She said the problems began after she had been gowned up and was ready to undergo surgery on October 14 - when it was cancelled at 4pm.

She said a nurse told her the previous operation had taken longer than expected and delays were happening because patients were having to come round in the operating theatre rather than the recovery room due to Covid.

She said she was then informed her operation could take place on either November 9 or 13.

However, she was subsequently told these dates would not be possible, and the hospital could not guarantee when the surgery could go ahead, again because of the pandemic.

Mrs Beckett, who said the hernia was a complication which arose after she underwent surgery at the hospital to remove a tumour in February, said: “The pain is agonising at times. It’s nine or 10 out of 10.

“I am living on painkillers at the moment. I’m taking Tramadol and codeine for the pain, but it’s barely touching it. I feel I’m in a limbo because of Covid.”

Speaking before hearing that the surgery could go ahead after all, she said: “It feels as if the NHS is saying it will treat you if you’ve got the coronavirus but everyone else can get lost.”

But then a day after The Press made inquiries of the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about her case, Mrs Beckett said she received a phone call telling her the op could go ahead today, with her being first on the list.

“I’m overjoyed,” she said.

“I don’t think it was a coincidence that I was offered it straight after The Press had raised it with the hospital. Just days before they had said they couldn’t give me a date.”

A spokesperson for the trust said that it had to cancel operations at times as part of its plans to manage demands and pressures on services, and patients with more clinical urgency took priority in theatres.

“We seek to minimise the number of times this occurs, and reschedule any cancelled operations so that they can take place as soon as possible after their postponement,” they said.

“However sometimes this decision is unavoidable and patient safety is of paramount importance.

“In addition, the infection prevention and safety measures we have to follow to keep staff and patients safe during Covid means that we are able to carry out fewer operations than we would normally.

“Any cancellation of a scheduled operation is a matter of regret, whatever the reason.

“We do appreciate the lengths people go to when they make arrangements to come into hospital and we don’t take these decisions lightly.”