"The only redeeming feature of ..."

About: Royal Oldham Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

The only redeeming feature of this incident was the new registrar who actually managed to arrange a CT scan for my father which eventally diagnosed his cancer.

What could be improved

Everything. My elderly father was admitted in August 2006, unwell and with symptoms of a chest infection. We were told his calcium levels were high and he needed a bone scan which would take 3 weeks to arrange. In the meantime he deteriorated very rapidly mainly because he could not eat unaided and was not fed so he lost a lot of weight and his mobility. We pressed the consultant for a CT scan but he said we had to wait for the bone scan. The bone scan when it was done was inconclusive and we managed to get a new registrar to arrange a CT scan the next day. The results were again delayed although they showed cancer and we were told that results like this should be reported straight away.

The consultant was very unhelpful - wouldn't meet with us or speak on the telephnone and the nurses on the ward would not give a proper report of his condition on the telephone even though I live 40 miles away and could not visit every day.

We eventually got the results of his CT scan the day before he died which showed he had cancer - but he basically starved to death the 5 weeks he was in hospital.

I have formally complained about his treatment but have only received a list of excuses and no acknowledgement that his treatment was unsatisfactory.

Anything else?

I still feel very upset 2 years later about the way my father was treated - his condition could and should have been diagnosed within a few days of him entering hospital and he could then have had paliative care at a hospice where he could have had a dignified death instead of the terrible neglect and pain he sufferec in the Royal Oldham Hospital.

Story from NHS Choices

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