"A complete shambles"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

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Six weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with a tumour. Four times we were called to the hospital to discuss the results of tests and four times we were told the tests were inconclusive and we were sent away for more tests. Finally after complaining to PAL we were referred to Haematology. They told us what was wrong, what the treatment would be and booked my wife in for a series of preps last week so her chemo could start on Friday. On Friday we turned up at 8:30 and she had bloods taken in anticipation of the treatment. We then saw the doctor who completely reversed what we had been told before and told us that the tests were inconclusive, they didn't know exactly what was wrong and couldn't start the treatment. We were devastated by the news but no one seemed to care about the effect that this bombshell would have on us. There was no explanation as to why this information that had obviously been available for days had not been given to us earlier and we had been allowed to build up our hopes of treatment. We were told that a more intrusive procedure was needed to get a proper sample of the tumour which we had told might be the answer from day one. Two hours later we were told that this could not be done due to the position of the tumour. No explanation as to why everyone had been telling us for weeks that this would be the answer only to be told now that it wasn't. People from different departments don't seem to talk to each other. We were then told that the only way ahead was to redo the test which had failed to provide the answer before and see if we could get lucky. No explanation as to why if the previous test had been done properly this one would give any different answer. We now have to wait another week before even having a test which has previously failed. No one seems to care about the huge emotional investment we have to make when coming to the hospital to hear some potentially bad news or in the case of Friday under take chemotherapy only to be told (always at the last possible moment) that things have changed and more tests are needed. It is now 6 weeks since my wife's problem was first identified since which time she has received no treatment whatsoever. We now have to wait another week for tests and then another week for results with no reason to believe that these will actually tell us what is wrong. We have no date or even an indication of when treatment will start even though everyone keeps telling us that early identification of the problem and early treatment is key to achieving a good outcome. My wife's positive attitude has evaporated (not surprisingly) under these conditions and neither of us have any faith or trust in the people who will eventually be treating her, whenever that might be. In 6 weeks you have turned two of the strongest supporters of the NHS into people who just think the whole thing is a complete shambles. The only reason this review gets one star is because there are no negative ratings available

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Responses

Response from Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

We are very sorry for the additional anxiety that has been caused at a very difficult time. We will contact you directly to respond personally to the concerns you have raised.

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