"Upset by confusion and delays in my dad's care"

About: Churchill Hospital / General surgery The Great Western Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My dad was diagnosed with bile duct cancer last Friday. He was told over the telephone by Great Western hospital in Swindon. Dad went to Churchill hospital in Oxford, to speak to them about possible treatment options on the 1st of May 2009. We were left waiting for an hour after check in and register. We asked receptionist what was happening, she called the department and said the doctor didn’t know dad was checked in. We were asked to go to next room to see the specialist and were left waiting again in an abandoned room for another 45mins. Doctors and nurses chatted in corridors, with no update to our situation! Communication was terrible and, I feel, unacceptable. I approached an office person who was talking to a nurse. I explained this is a sad day for all of us and dad would like to be reassured that he wasn’t forgotten. She replied, all cancer patients go through this! I told her this isn’t good enough and I would like a complaints form - but she couldn’t find any! I asked to speak to some one else higher up; apparently the boss wasn’t in that day!

Finally, the specialist came in. He did apologise to dad for being late, but became offensive when he said he doesn’t have all dad’s notes and the scan pictures hadn’t arrived yet. We explained our feelings of how dad’s been left hanging, with both hospitals. We are upset that a definite answer cannot be made on dad’s cancer, as we don’t have all evidence in front of us. Right now, it all feels hypothetical, which we know from the information we found out on our own. We couldn't get our hopes up, because if the aggressive cancer has spread, as its likely too, dad’s options keep getting delayed from the NHS and the chance of him getting anywhere positive seems to be diminishing. Great Western hospital says its been transferred over to Churchill, and we can only presume his records have been lost or misplaced as a result of poor organisation from both of the hospitals. What is the world coming to? they just don’t seem to care! Who else will suffer precious time due to lack of care and organisation? We hope the next people get treated better. This shouldn't happen in our hospitals!

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