"Abysmal communication"

About: Harrogate District Hospital

My father was an out patient of the urology dept. He had prostate cancer. They failed to tell him the cancer had spread to his lungs, liver, lymph nodes and pelvic cavity. The family were only told when chasing test results 8 weeks later. We requested my father be told but he was only given partial information, we had no explanation why some facts were withheld. The consultant persisted on a course of medication that was unsuitable for the type of cancer my Father had and his pain was not controlled well, even though we voiced our concerns about both these issues. My father asked the consultant if the cancer was terminal he was told quite plainly no ... He died 8 weeks later of metastatic prostate cancer. We had to battle to get any information, our voices weren't heard and we had little support through this difficult time.

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Response from Harrogate District Hospital

Dear Biggles Thank you for contacting us about your father's case and please accept our deepest condolences on your loss. I would also like to apologies for the experience that you describe which falls significantly below the quality of care that we would expect. We would very much like to investigate your father's case to find out exactly what happened and to see what lessons could be learned. If you have not already done so, please contact our Patient Experience Team on (01423) 555499 or email thepatientexperienceteam@hdft.nhs.uk who will be able to begin the investigation for you. Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact us at a very difficult time. Yours sincerely Chris Watt Head of Communications Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

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