ANGRY mum Kathryn Corbett – whose son was featured on posters promoting the opening of Pontefract Hospital two years ago – says she is “sickened” by the standard of treatment he is now receiving there.
Little Thomas – who has cerebral palsy and needs regular physiotherapy sessions – was chosen to help promote the new £60m hospital when it opened in January 2010 and was featured on bus posters across the district.
Now his disappointed mum says the family is “at its wit’s end” with the hospital, which she claims has prevented the four-year-old visiting a hydrotherapy pool, given him an ill-fitting wheelchair, cut his physiotherapy sessions from weekly to monthly, and left him without the leg splints he needs to be able to walk.
Mrs Corbett, of Swanhill Lane, Pontefract, said: “When we agreed to be pictured to promote the hospital it was a favour to them, we were excited about the new facilities for Thomas but it turns out they were utterly disappointing.
“If we had been asked to promote the hospital now, I would have told them where to go. We are at our wit’s end with it and enough is enough.
Mrs Corbett, 32, and her husband Matthew, 38, claim Thomas has had to wait for six weeks for vital leg splints.
She said: “We are sickened that Thomas has now been without leg splints for six weeks, I first called on October 14 when they didn’t fit him anymore and I was told I had to wait four weeks to even get an appointment.
“Thomas is meant to use his splints for six hours a day and without this exercise it can seriously damage his development and leave his feet permanently deformed.”
Mrs Corbett said Thomas – who used to receive weekly physiotherapy sessions at the hospital – had been given an ill-fitting wheelchair and had been had been unable to use the hydrotherapy pool since he started school in September.
She said: “They gave us a reconditioned wheelchair and it was totally the wrong size for him. The next day he fell out of it, flat on his face onto the concrete.
“He started off having weekly physiotherapy sessions, but eventually it was cut back to once a month, which isn’t enough and now pay for private sessions.
“Because he’s at school when the pool is open, we have been told we can’t use it and he has to go to the public baths, but it is far too cold for him there.
“We have to fight all the way for everything we want to help Thomas.”
Ruth Unwin, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s director with responsibility for therapy services, said: “We aim to provide the best possible care for all our patients. We are very sorry to hear that Mrs Corbett does not feel we are providing Thomas with the standard of care we would wish to provide and will be contacting her to discuss her concerns.”