Published: 00:01, 17 March 2016
An investigation is under way into the care received by a grandfather who says he has been forced to wear slippers for more than two years because a hospital has failed to provide specialist shoes that fit him properly.
Denis Judd, who is 83, has drop foot and needs specially-adapted footwear.
Instead, he has resorted to pulling on carpet slippers, wearing them outside whatever the weather, which includes visits to the Garden of England Crematorium at Bobbing, the final resting place of his late wife Marina and son Kevin, who died of cancer aged just 52.
In February 2014, his previous pair of NHS shoes having worn out, he went to an appointment at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham to be fitted for replacements – more than two years later he is still waiting.
"I took my old shoes to show them and they didn’t want to know. The last bloke I saw for a fitting said he had been to university to learn how to do this"
But now the Medway NHS Foundation Trust has discharged him from its care, saying he is “non-compliant” because he refuses to wear what it has offered, including shoes and ankle supports.
The pensioner, of Beechwood Avenue, Milton Regis, says he is desperate for replacements, as the slippers leave him with wet feet and chilblains.
He admits he has tried on several pairs at the hospital’s orthotics department but says none of them fit properly, mainly because they are too tight and uncomfortable.
“How can you wear a pair of shoes that are too tight to even get on?” he said.
“I took my old shoes to show them and they didn’t want to know. The last bloke I saw for a fitting said he had been to university to learn how to do this.
“I just want a pair of shoes that won’t make my feet hurt.”
With no sign of a resolution, Mr Judd appealed to MP Gordon Henderson who wrote to the NHS trust’s chief executive Lesley Dwyer.
In response, the trust’s clinical nurse lead for complaints, Lyndsay Barrow, apologised for the concern and distress caused and said the pensioner’s concerns would be investigated.
Karen Rule, director of nursing, said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by Mr Judd and are currently reviewing his treatment plan with our patient advice and liaison service.
“We always do our utmost to ensure that safe, high quality and compassionate clinical care is given to our patients at all times. We will be in further contact with Mr Judd to discuss the outcome of our findings in due course.”