AN Isle of Wight patient almost died after being misdiagnosed and sent home from hospital on the first day of the lockdown, the Guardian has reported.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, needed eight operations to remedy the damage.

He suffered excruciating pain, developed life-threatening blood poisoning and contracted the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis, after St Mary’s Hospital rejected repeated pleas for doctors to help him.

The man, his wife and his GP had spent three weeks after his discharge trying to get him urgent medical care.

Mary Smith, of the solicitors Novum Law, who is representing the man in his complaint against the trust, told the Guardian his plight highlighted the growing number of cases that were emerging of people whose health had suffered because they could not access normal NHS care in recent months.

The report says the man was admitted to the hospital on March 22 with pain in his abdomen and groin from a flare-up of an existing hernia problem.

The next morning, he was scanned but then sent home and told to take antibiotics after doctors wrongly diagnosed his condition as having inflamed testicles.

In the following weeks St Mary’s hospital had refused to readmit him, despite his symptoms worsening.

According to The Guardian, The man’s wife contacted ten private hospitals on the mainland but all had said they could not treat her husband as they had been taken over by the NHS as part of a deal to provide extra care during the pandemic.

In desperation, she rang 999 on April 12, but staff at St Mary’s told the ambulance crew not to bring him in and instead to tell him to ring NHS 111.

He was finally readmitted later that day when the NHS 111 doctor who answered his call recognised how serious the situation was.

He was then diagnosed as having appendicitis within his hernia, sepsis and necrotising fasciitis.

The patient had to spend three weeks in hospital after he was readmitted, but infection control procedures at St Mary’s to reduce the spread of the coronavirus meant his wife was not allowed to visit.

In a letter to the patient published by the Guardian, Isle of Wight NHS trust’s chief executive, Maggie Oldham, said: “The trust accepts that had surgery on the right inguinal hernia been undertaken during the admission of March 22 to 23, 2020, the subsequent pain, sepsis and numerous returns to theatre would have been avoided.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight trust said: “We sincerely apologise for the experience that this person had in our care, following a misdiagnosis in March 2020 that resulted in the patient having to spend a long time in hospital during April and May.

"The changes to the hospital environment as a result of Covid-19 are in place to protect those in our care and we have not discharged patients early who require continued hospital treatment.”

You can read the Guardian's full story here.