"Still waiting! Who helps?"

About: Royal Derby Hospital

My husband was finally operated on for bowel cancer on the very last day for the target to be met by RDH in April 2013. From diagnosis to surgery we were left hanging with no support only to be told on numerous occasions that there were no appointments. When he eventually was operated on on a Thursday the surgery broke down over the weekend so he was given morphine for the pain and left until the Tuesday when he swelled up like a balloon, before he had a scan and was rushed for emergency surgery. He ended up with a stoma as a result. He was again left with morphine on tap with the emphasis being on pain relief even if he had no pain. He was not encouraged to eat, in fact I had to plead for fortijuice. On 1 occasion when a Dr stood around his bed with a troop of followers she stated that this man had not eaten for a prolonged time before coming to hospital-he had eaten very well prior to being admitted and had cooked a 2 course meal the previous evening for 4. He did not look ill on entering hospital and had eaten well and built himself up against the weight loss due to the cancer. On discharge he had a badly infected surgery wound which reeked and he weighed 9 1/2 stone. When I contacted the DN, as the hospital had failed to do so, she actually put in a significant event over his discharge. Community care was prolonged and brilliant to get him well. During follow ups with the original surgeon reversal was obviously the main aim, my husband is in his 50s. We were told that he would be fit for surgery before Christmas but that this surgeon would like to do the op and would be away until March. My husband agreed to wait. He was seen in Feb by another Dr, sent for a CT Scan to check that all was ok and was told that he would be a priority in March. This has not been the case, the consultant is now retiring although we have been given many different stories as to when. We're on his list, we're off his list! Having given up on this we are still waiting to know when a date may be and who may be doing the surgery. Phone calls are not always returned and there is no information when they are. He was told by PALS that they, who?, were looking at the possibility of a locum doing it at the beginning of July. It is now July. His latest check up, blood resilts etc.,now states another consultants name who is not listed at RDH but there is still no sign of surgery. When contacting PALS yesterday he was told that the secretary would send him an appointment when there was one. When asking for any time guide he was told 'how long is a piece of string?' I should mention that he also has a large hernia around the stoma which will only continue to get bigger the longer it is left. What do we need to do to get a date? This affects us daily, nothing can be planned and although I dread his return to hospital I wait with him.

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Responses

Response from Royal Derby Hospital

Many thanks for sending us details of your husband's experience following him sadly developing bowel cancer and receiving surgery for this in April this year. I was extrememly concerned to read your feedback and would be very pleased to try and assist you further. However, to do so I would need more details such as your husband's name etc so I can look into this further. If you would like to telephone me on (01332) 786336 to provide me with more information, I will certainly try to assist you further. Once again thank you for taking the time to provide us with this feedback and I hope to hear furhter from you soon. Kind regards Miss Deborah Furness, member of the Patient Experience team for Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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