"Disorganised cancer care at Leeds General"

About: Leeds General Infirmary

(as a friend),

I went with my friend, a young cancer patient, to Leeds General Infirmary for her to receive news about the next steps in her treatment. She has been referred as a specialist centre so the visit involved a 200 mile round trip - a very considerable journey for someone who is tired, ill and in pain. She has recurrent cancer and was very frightened about the appointment because she was going to find out whether her cancer was still operable or whether it was too serious for surgery.

When we were shown into the cubicle for the consultation, we sat waiting and could hear all the conversations that were going on with other patients that were being seen in that clinic. Eventually we were told that the results of her scans were not available yet and we were asked to wait while the radiologist looked at the scans and discussed them with her consultant.

By the time we were seen, we were 2 hours behind the appointment time. The results were summarised verbally but the consultant said that he needed to have further conversations about her treatment and he would ring her within the next 'couple of days'. There was no examination, no tests. It was 4 days later when she was phoned to be told that surgery was not gong to be offered.

On the journey back, she told me that not one visit to Leeds General had gone smoothly - lost test results that needed reapeating, clinic delays etc, all of which needed her to stay longer and wait while problems were sorted out.

Our trip to Leeds was a complete waste of her time, resources and energy and were a significant burden for her to cope with. It exhausted me and I'm not ill. It certainly didn't inspire me with any confidence that these people could organise effective treatment for her. This degree of disorganisation wastes NHS resources and gives vulnerable patients poor patient care.

Leeds General Infirmary need a wake up call. To me, their organisation seemed amateur and sloppy.

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Responses

Response from Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Leeds PCT

Thank you for taking the time to share you and your friend's recent experience at Leeds General Infirmary. I am really sorry to hear that the appointment was unsatisfactory.

I shall pass your posting onto the Patient Relations Manager at the hospital for comments. I shall also be passing this information to the team responsible for commissioning these services.

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Response from Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Leeds PCT

Sent on behalf of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust:

The General Surgery directorate would like to apologise to you and your friend about your experience in this particular case. We would be happy to investigate the circumstances regarding this appointment with the patient's consent. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Patient Relations team on:

Tel: 0113 2066261

E mail: patient.relations@leedsth.nhs.uk

Address: Patient Relations Department, Trust Headquarters, St James's University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF.

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