Neck surgery patient’s operation delayed over damp in his home
'I haven't got long left but I just want to get out of the flat'
03 October, 2019 — By Tom Foot
A CANCER patient says he has been forced to delay surgery to remove a tumour from his neck after a hospital expert said his home was not safe enough to recover in.
Vincent Parr, 55, who is disabled, said he did not want to risk infection in his Origin Housing-run flat in Somers Town which is riddled with mould and condensation.
An oncologist at UCLH wrote in a letter that his living conditions “are not conducive with his safe recovery post-surgery”.
Mr Parr said: “I’ve put this operation off three times, but no one wants to know. They are saying I shouldn’t have it until they move me. I literally collapsed last night, I have been coughing up blood. I haven’t got long left but I just want to get out of the flat.”
Mr Parr, who went to the old William Collins Secondary School as a boy, (now known as Regent High School), has been making daily visits to the Origin Housing offices in Somers Town.
Labour councillor Roger Robinson, the Town Hall’s disability champion, has written to the housing association urging them to rehouse him immediately, with a flat close to the Macmillan Cancer Centre and other neurological hospitals in Queen Square.
Mr Parr has cerebral ataxia – a form of brain damage – and has used a mobility scooter since a stroke nine years ago.
Basaloid carcinoma – a rare form of cancer – has recently been found in the neck and ear of the former HGV driver.
He has been warned by doctors that he may be left with nerve damage after the operation.
Camden Council has also written to Origin about Mr Parr’s concerns of “catching an infection if he is to return prior to works”.
An Origin Housing spokesman said its team had found no damp at the property during two separate inspections, but added: “The surveyors noted condensation was causing some issues in his home, so fitted a new extractor fan in his bathroom.”
He said: “Following several discussions with Mr Parr, he was placed on our transfer list for a new home. Mr Parr was subsequently offered two different properties, both of which were refused.
“We also offered further inspection from our surveyors if he had concerns with his current home which he declined.”