A retired man who splashed out £18,000 from his retirement savings on a private knee replacement due to a two year waiting list was then offered surgery when he was back home.

John Peake, 75, was put on an NHS waiting list for his right knee which was in a worse condition after an orthopaedic consultant at Stafford County Hospital agreed he needed both arthritic knees replaced.

But Mr Peake was told that he could be waiting up to two years for the operation and being in a lot of pain he decided he had to dig into his retirement savings for £18,000 he would need for private surgery.

He had the operation privately on September 29, and then just three days after leaving hospital was given a call to say he could have the operation on the NHS in the coming weeks, reported the Daily Mail.

A cancelation had reportedly opened up a space, he was told by the NHS North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

When Mr Peake returned home from his private operation, he had a call from the NHS to say they had a time slot for him in the following weeks (

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Mr Peake, from Staffordshire, told the Daily Mail : "My wife’s first thought was that they called me to give me a kicking because they knew I’d just gone private. But I’ve got absolutely no evidence that’s the case."

What was even more frustrating for Mr Peake was that when he asked if he could use his appointment to have his left knee operated on instead, he was told he needed to make a new referral.

Waiting lists for operations have surged during the pandemic with the NHS under strain and patients expecting orthopaedic treatment make up a significant number of the 5.7 million people.

It is reported that there are just under 700,000 people who are specifically waiting for orthopaedic surgery.

A Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs spokesman told the Daily Mail: "NHS clinical commissioners are working with all our hospital providers to bring down waiting lists and treat patients as soon as possible.

"Extra capacity has been commissioned in the independent sector, resulting in some patients being offered accelerated appointments for orthopaedic procedures."

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