My anger at delay over vital X-rays

John Phillips A COUNCILLOR has blasted health chiefs after waiting weeks for crucial X-ray results amid fears he has a deadly asbestos cancer. Labour Cllr Barry Poulton, 58, went to school near the notorious Cape Asbestos factory in Barking and lost his father Walter

John Phillips

A COUNCILLOR has blasted health chiefs after waiting weeks for crucial X-ray results amid fears he has a deadly asbestos cancer.

Labour Cllr Barry Poulton, 58, went to school near the notorious Cape Asbestos factory in Barking and lost his father Walter to mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

The maths teacher of Crouch Avenue, Barking, was this week anxiously awaiting the results of the chest X-ray taken at the Upney Lane walk-in centre in Barking on June 26.

Bosses at Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust said their target was to assess X-rays within 10 days and denied there was any backlog.

The Thames ward councillor, who has had an unshakable chest infection for three months, said: "I've been waiting for the results so we can cross off some of the possibilities and can get a solution to my problem. I find it quite unacceptable."

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Cllr Poulton fears for worst having attended Northbury School, North Street, near the defunct Cape Asbestos factory in Harts Lane.

He believes he may have been exposed to asbestos fibres, which can lay dormant for decades, like his father who died of mesothelioma in 1996.

BHR Hospitals NHS Trust runs the X-ray department at Upney Lane.

A spokesman said: "The trust is unable to comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality.

"The radiology department endeavours to return all X-ray results to the requesting GP within 10 working days.

"If a patient is waiting significantly longer than that to receive their results, they should take this up with their GP.

"On rare occasions it may take slightly longer to return the results if it is a particularly complicated case. The service at Upney Lane is within its targets on X-ray results, and is working to lower it further.