Published: 06:00, 23 May 2019
An 89-year-old man who developed a huge growth on his head following a fall says he was told repeatedly by doctors to take paracetamol.
Now, almost three months after first going to his GP, George Hobbs has been told the golf ball-sized lump is skin cancer and is being sent for an urgent operation.
Last week, a specialist told him the situation should never have got this bad.
WARNING: Graphic images.
George Hobbs says it started the size of a small sweet
The retired civil servant, of Davenport Avenue, Gillingham, first went to The Railside Surgery, in Railway Street, with the unsightly swelling at the end of February.
Back then it was half the size and was causing him discomfort. He says he was sent away and told to take painkillers.
He claims the advice was repeated at two further visits until a new doctor sent him to see dermatology experts at the Community Living Health Centre in the town’s Balmoral Gardens.
The grandfather-of-three went there at the start of the month and was told to go back the following week.
He said: “I saw a different doctor the second time and they took one look at it and told me it was too bad for them to deal with.
“The next I knew I had a call from the plastic surgery department at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.”
The hospital arranged for Mr Hobbs to see a specialist during a weekly visit to Medway Maritime Hospital. He saw them last week and has now been told he urgently requires surgery.
He said: “I’m furious that they didn’t take this seriously to start with. It’s really causing me a lot of discomfort.
“The specialist at Medway told me I should never have been told to take paracetamol for it. They were amazed it had been allowed to get this bad and said I should have been sent to them immediately.”
It is particularly concerning for Mr Hobbs as he is recovering from bladder cancer.
He added: “They’re worried because it’s not clear how deep it goes. They say if it’s grown upwards they should be able to remove it but if it’s grown downwards it’s more serious.
“I really am very apprehensive and haven’t been able to sleep very well. They say they should be able to see me at East Grinstead in the next week.”
Mr Hobbs was taken to hospital after collapsing in his daughter’s bathroom and cutting his head open on the day of his wife’s funeral last August.
Since then, the wound has gradually grown in size resulting in him seeking medical help.
Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a group of 55 GP practices from across the Medway Towns, responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, serving a patient population of 295,223.
Director of primary care transformation Tracy Rouse said: “We are sorry to hear of Mr Hobbs’ experience.
"As the CCG does not hold any patient data, we would advise him to submit a complaint via firstname.lastname@example.org so we can fully investigate the matter.”
More by this authorEd McConnell