Row of ‘missed appointments’ leaves dad without Crohn’s medication

A MAN who battled Crohn’s disease for more than 10 years says he was left without life-saving medicines amid a dispute with health board chiefs.

John McNellis claims he was denied access to his prescription after health bosses said he missed scheduled appointments both in person and over the phone.

The local father-of-two admits he missed a booking, but insists he sat with his phone ‘ready’ on the days when phone consultations were penciled in – and no one called him.

The 36-year-old has now had to return to his GP to begin the process of picking up a prescription for the drug he has been self-administering for five years.

Mr McNellis, who works offshore near Norwich, says he is ‘extremely worried’ for his livelihood now that he does not have access to medication which keeps his symptoms manageable.

He told the TV“I have suffered from Crohn’s disease for more than 10 years and during this time my symptoms have been such that I have been hospitalized more than five times.

“I have been taking this drug for five years and it has really helped me, allowing me to continue working.

“I get a routine delivery of the medicine to the house every three months and when the newest one didn’t show up I called to find out why.

“The receptionist told me they had been told to stop as I had missed four appointments, so I had been released from their care.

“Why would I risk my health this way? I just wouldn’t do something like this.”

Mr McNellis says he asked on the day of the last scheduled appointment why he had not yet received a phone call.

He added: “On days when phone appointments were scheduled, I was driving home from the south, so I had my Bluetooth set up and waiting for calls.

“I even set an alarm on my phone to remind me when they were due.

“I phoned and asked why I hadn’t been contacted and was told someone would be in touch. That was the last I heard from.

“I didn’t know I had been fired until my meds didn’t arrive.

“I’m relying on this medication, so why would I actively avoid dates that would then deny me it, it just doesn’t make sense.

“I’m honestly puzzled as to why the board of health would claim I didn’t make myself available?”

The former serviceman says the treatment, which is given in the form of an Epipen, acts as “reassurance” for himself and his family.

He said: “The drugs are what allow me to live my life.

“I’m now riddled with anxiety because I know if it breaks out I can’t go to work.

“I don’t know how long it will be before I can access what I rely on again.”

Mr McNellis, who lives in Wemyss Bay, says he was referred to Crohn’s Clinic by his local GP and is now awaiting contact.

The TV contacted NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde who said they could not comment on the details of Mr McNellis’ case.

A spokesperson said: “While we cannot discuss the individual circumstances of any case, we would like to remind all patients how important it is to keep appointments with our services – and if they do cannot, they should contact us so that we can make alternative arrangements.

“As is the case with all healthcare services, we have a duty of care to our patients, to regularly review treatments to ensure they are appropriate for their needs.

“We encourage any patient who has concerns about their treatment to contact their GP or the department treating them.”

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