"Undiagnosed rectal cancer, now terminal and spread to liver"

About: Greater Manchester Tameside General Hospital / Oncology

(as a staff member),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public who asked not to have their name published. We spoke to the sister of the patient, who has now become her carer. They said…

A woman in her 40s went repeatedly, sometimes 3 times in a week, to see her GP. She was complaining of extreme weight loss and rectal bleeding. From September 2012 until January 2013, she was told it was 'all in her head' and was given a psychiatric appointment.

Eventually she was referred to Tameside Hospital for a blood transfusion. Not given colonoscopy for another 3 months in spite of copious rectal blood loss. Now has colostomy and is on chemotherapy to reduce the tumours but is terminally ill with secondary liver cancer. Was not diagnosed in time for treatment to be effective, so palliative care only is available.

Has complained to PALS but not aware of any outcome from this. She and her family are devastated by the illness and the appalling treatment she has suffered.

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Response from Peter Denton, Healthwatch Manager, Healthwatch Tameside

We spoke at length to this patient and her family. She has said that she wants to make the most of the remainder of her life without further involvement in this story. However she has agreed that we should follow up the issues anonymously, on her behalf.

So far we have raised these concerns with both the hospital and the local Clinical Commissioning Group. We are also aware that the GP practice concerned has been in receipt of support from their Local Improvement Group during the past year.

We will continue to follow up these concerns to help to ensure that future patients do not have similar experiences and if we are made aware of any changes to services we will post information about them here.

Peter Denton

Healthwatch Manager

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