A WOMAN with a persistent cough that has lasted two years says she is now desperate for hospital treatment after waiting patiently during the pandemic.

Sarah Broadhurst was one of those who contacted the Worcester News after the release of new figures that showed a record number of county patients in February had been waiting a year or more for routine treatment at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust.

The 42-year-old from Ronkswood said she was supportive of the NHS but was frustrated as, after waiting her turn, she has now been told she is on a waiting list of "up to 500 people".

Mrs Broadhurst, who struggles to speak due to the constant coughing, said: “I ended up in hospital in May 2019 with a bad chest infection, and a blood test revealed I actually had had whooping cough.

“I started having tests at the end of 2019, into 2020, but then we went into lockdown.

“I had pinned my hopes on it being gone a year post the hospital visit, but it has gone on and on. I have been told I need a bronchoscopy, but they refused to do it because of the pandemic.

“I understand that. I’m not saying 'why I am not being treated, it is not fair'. I have waited nicely in line but it is really affecting me, and now they need to be doing something.

"I am struggling to walk very far or talk for long before coughing fits take over.

"I had a couple of phone consultations, nothing since November. When they said that (how long the waiting list was) on Wednesday I was in tears.”

Others on social media said they were currently stuck waiting. Day Wheatley said: “Was on a one year waiting list for a certain therapy that only three psychiatrist’s do.

"Now had to wait an extra year for it and still don’t know when, so currently waiting two years so far.”

Emily Morgan said: “I’ve been waiting since March last year. Not even sure what treatment I am having after having to wait 12 months just for an initial appointment."

NHS statistics show 5,590 patients listed for elective operations or treatment at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust had been waiting for at least a year - 13 per cent of all those on the waiting list.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of the trust said: “Our services have responded amazingly well to the increased numbers of seriously ill patients over the past year.

"Sadly, this has meant that many people have had to wait longer than we or they would like for their treatment.

"Our staff have worked tirelessly to prioritise patients needing urgent care, including those with cancer. The trust has worked innovatively to find new and different ways of working, such as carrying out outpatient video consultations, a drive through children’s diabetes clinic and using our facilities at Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre as well as the local independent sector to provide additional elective procedure capacity.

"Our plan for safely restoring services is now being implemented to ensure patients receive the care they need in as timely a way as possible.”

READ MORE: Rise in numbers visiting Worcestershire hospitals A&E