"My husband could have passed away in peace"

About: Liverpool PCT / District nursing

(as a relative),

It took 7 months for my husband to be diagnosed with terminal cancer although in those 7 months his blood results were coming back very abnormal. His gp did nothing further to investigate why, we just kept being told could be an infection/inflammation and he was given pain killers/and antibiotics.

After the 7 months I asked for x-rays and tests to see what was causing him all this pain, within a week we had an appointment with a chest specialist and we were told the news that my husband had a large tumour on his lung and it had spread into his gullet, neck and prostate and there was nothing they could do. He went through 4 months of chemo and 2 very large treatments of radiotherapy, he went on to have 2 further diagnosis one in the brain and another mass found in his abdomen. In my opinion if our gp had done more at the start this may have been found and maybe even treatable.

The day my husband passed away i had called in the nurses to give my husband injections of morphine which had been brought into our home a few days prior. He had 3 injections during the day and late afternoon the nurse handed over to the night time staff and my family and I were told he would not live through that night as by this time his organs were shutting down.

The next visit was due at 8pm to give him pain relief as he was in constant pain but we were told we could call the nurses out before if he needed the injections sooner. My husband was in extreme pain and screaming for the morphine. We could not get any response from our phone calls [ just an answer machine] when we finally got through at 8 40 pm my husband passed away in agonising pain, one hour after he died 2 nurses turned up saying they had come to give him his injection!

We could not believe what had happened and the matter was taken further in an official investigation, but we were not satisfied with the final report which we felt covered up for the incompetent and uncaring nursing skills we experienced. It had been bad enough that the late diagnosis had happened but then for my husband to be left to die in the pain was a total lack of care. Our family now has no faith in the nhs at all.

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