A woman "didn't know whether to laugh or cry" after a medical procedure she waited months for was cancelled during her appointment.

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Rickmansworth, was booked in to have extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) on her left shoulder on January 4 at Wolsey House in Hemel Hempstead.

She claimed that during her appointment, the physiotherapist said the treatment was no longer available on the NHS and Ms Fitzgerald would have to reschedule for an injection as an alternative.

Watford Observer: Wolsey House in Hemel Hempstead Wolsey House in Hemel Hempstead (Image: Google Street View)

Ms Fitzgerald, who works in child welfare in TV and film, told the Watford Observer: “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“You wait all this time for an appointment and get these texts saying ‘do not be late’, and yet they can just let us waste a day of our lives – and petrol.

“We are being so careful with our use or car at the moment, and it’s difficult to park there so my partner took a day off work to take me.”

She was initially told in May that she needed the treatment before the appointment was confirmed in November.

The blunder has wasted the NHS's time and the appointment could have gone to someone else, Ms Fitzgerald added.

She also claimed she has yet to receive a reply to her email asking why the treatment was cancelled and why she was not told before her appointment.  

Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board, which runs the service, told the Watford Observer there was an error in offering ESWT to Ms Fitzgerald.

Its chief executive officer Dr Jane Halpin said that ESWT is available via the local NHS, but it is only used for certain conditions, typically affecting the foot and heel.   

Watford Observer: Dr Jane HalpinDr Jane Halpin (Image: Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board)

She added: “ESWT is not recommended for Ms Fitzgerald’s particular condition.

“The service recognises that shockwave treatment should never have been discussed or arranged in this instance and will apply learning to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Dr Halpin continued: “Ms Fitzgerald was advised at her appointment that shockwave was an inappropriate treatment for her particular problem.

“The service apologises for the inconvenience to Ms Fitzgerald and her family as a result this last-minute change to her treatment.”  

Dr Halpin added that an arrangement will be made with Ms Fitzgerald to discuss appropriate treatment.