Welwyn Garden City QEII cleaner denied knee op after years of dedication to hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:17 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 27 November 2018

Maria Ellis (right) with her mum Glynis Simmons. 
Picture: DANNY LOO

Maria Ellis (right) with her mum Glynis Simmons. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

For the better part of two decades, Glynis Simmons virtually bent over backwards to help those receiving treatment at QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

Now in need of assistance herself due to a debilitating knee condition and deteriorating arthritis complications, the born and bred Welwyn Garden City resident has been denied surgery that would provide some relief from her suffering.

Mrs Simmons was pre-assessed for major knee surgery a few months ago before being notified in writing that funding for the surgery had been withdrawn, her family says.

East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says it will review the case once additional information has been received.

“This particular type of knee operation is not a procedure that is routinely funded by the local NHS and individual cases are considered for approval by our clinical team,” a CCG spokesperson said.

“We have been in contact with Mrs Simmons’ surgeon’s office to request additional clinical information that was not initially provided as part of the application. Once this has been received we will look again at the case.”

In the meantime, Mrs Simmons has been diagnosed with degenerative discs in her lumbar spine, which is believed could be related to her knee issues.

“She’s put so much effort into helping others, I’m disgusted that the trust cannot help her when she needs it,” Mrs Simmons’ daughter Maria Ellis said.

Mrs Ellis believed her mother’s knee condition in particular could have been exacerbated by getting “on her hands and knees every day” during her 17 years cleaning wards at QEII.

She said Mrs Simmons had high cleaning and disinfection standards and played an important role in minimising the risk of patients contracting bugs and infections, before retiring due to ill health following reconstructive work on her foot resulting from arthritis.

Suffering chronic pain and forced to take public transport to appointments as she cannot drive, Ms Simmons has endured expensive scans, various tests and other pre-assessments.

Her primary treatment has been anti-inflammatory drugs, including Cortisone injections for her back, but, with her pain worsening, is merely a Band-aid solution.

“My main concern is if they don’t do anything for her, in 3-4 years time where does that leave her? Probably in a wheelchair,” Mrs Ellis said.

Ms Ellis said her mother’s woes were “a sad state of affairs” symptomatic of an underfunded system.

“It’s not just my mum, the mess our NHS is in affects everyone and our future, I worry for the younger generation,” she said.

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