"Left abandoned by the NHS"

About: Freeman Hospital

I was diagnosed after an ultrasound @ Wansbeck with a malignant tumour on my pancreas.(Oct 29) Stent fitted into bile duct on Nov 12, for jaundice & told I was now in the hands of the Freeman. Excellent, I thought, but how wrong that proved to be. I was jaundice free by Nov 22 & rang the Freeman to find out the date of the biopsy. 1st date given was Dec 19, then brought forward to Dec11, tagged on to the end of the doctor's list. I requested an overnight stay as I live a long way from N/C & put into Ward 16. A nurse was rude to me when I asked about breakfast (I'd been on nil by mouth the previous day). When the doctor came to discharge me, he casually told me my condition was inoperable as it had spread to nearby blood vessels - just like that - no preparation; no family/professional to accompany me/no quiet room, just the curtains pulled around my bed. Palliative care was all they could offer. Can you imagine how that felt, particularly as I was pinning my hopes on the fact a previous CT scan had shown no spread to liver/lungs, therefore it could potentially be operable/curable? I again had to ring for results & another appointment, so I accepted an appointment on Dec 23 - the doctor seemed astonished I already knew the outcome of the biopsy. He confirmed its inoperability & referred me back to Wansbeck - to an oncologist, who, I found out later, doesn't even work out of Wansbeck! Imagine my distress - I'd gone full circle, back to Wansbeck. I decided that the NHS thought I was a hopeless case. I was so distressed. I had a long talk over the phone with my GP & specialist nurse @ Wansbeck( Dec 27) & told them my plans. I'd been keeping a diary & decided to go public with it - CQC/#10/Health Sec/MP etc. It was when I mentioned taking my story to the newspapers that things seemed to happen. Within 4 days (& that included a weekend) the nurse had an appointment @ Wansbeck with another oncologist 2 days later (Jan 2). I met with the oncologist & nurse & both my daughter & I found them to be very nice, concerned about the length of time I'd had to wait & the fact that I'd had to push everything forward. Now, I need another CT scan, nearly ten weeks after the first one - & what will have gone on inside me in that time??? Treatment now brought forward to soon - but, when would it have taken place if I hadn't pushed? I have considered going privately to London, but it could be too late now, having waited since the end of October.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Freeman Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices about your care under the Gastrointestinal and Liver Services at the Freeman Hospital. We are very sorry for the problems that you encountered as this is not the standard of service that we would expect to provide. In order to fully investigate your concerns, and to identify how we can prevent any reoccurrence, we would be very grateful if you could please telephone 0191 233 6161 and ask for Matron Henaghan, in order to confirm your details, so we can look at this in detail.

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