Stoke-on-Trent patient left with ‘terminal’ cancer after hospital errorsRita Dune
Stoke-on-Trent patient left with ‘terminal’ cancer after hospital errors.
Graham Wood said he hoped other patients had not suffered the same experience
A cancer patient lost the chance of a cure due to a five-month delay caused by hospital administration errors.
Graham Wood, 73, from Stoke-on-Trent, was urgently referred by his GP to the University Hospital North Midlands trust for a scan in December 2018.
However, it was not until May 2019 that an endoscopy was carried out and revealed oesophageal cancer.
The trust apologised for “the mismanagement” of his care.
Mr Wood had been offered scans at Stafford’s County Hospital within days of his initial referral, but said he could not make them due to transport problems.
A review by a consultant at the trust revealed if Mr Wood had had an endoscopy in December 2018, the cancer could have been caught at a stage “where treatment to cure it could have been offered”.
Mr Wood said he had since been told it was terminal and he “can’t forgive them for taking my life away”.
“I’ve got a lot to live for. When they found that tumour I had no chance, they told me that,” he said.
Rather than the national 62-day target from referral to treatment, he waited more than 150 days.
University Hospitals North Midlands runs both the Royal Stoke University Hospital (pictured) and Stafford’s County Hospital
The trust said he was advised of transport options between the two hospitals, although Mr Wood disputes this.
“I was not told by that person on the phone about any transport whatsoever. The only thing she was interested in was getting me to go to Stafford.”
Rather than being offered future dates at the Royal Stoke University Hospital he was told to contact his GP for another referral.
He was subsequently offered two appointments in Stoke, which he turned down due to a holiday.
A trust investigation said he was again “wrongly” sent back to his GP by administrators and should have been offered an appointment “at a convenient time when he returned”.
It was only after tests for another condition he was sent for an urgent endoscopy, which revealed oesophageal cancer.
UHNM said it had reminded endoscopy staff to tell patients about transport options between its hospitals and was developing cancer wait training.
As well as upholding Mr Wood’s complaint, UHNM apologised for an initial response to his complaint, which it said was “inaccurate” and it had started an internal investigation.
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