"Helpful and caring but feel completely let down"

About: Raigmore Hospital / Urology

(as a relative),

My father went in for a colonoscopy in January this year to be told he has colon cancer. Subsequent tests showed that the cancer had spread to his liver also. He went into hospital in March to have the tumour removed from his colon and during the operation it was found he could not be catheterised in the normal way due to previous issues he had with his bladder (these previous issues had been going on since the 90s and an ultrasound was carried out a couple of years ago which found his bladder was not emptying properly - this was never followed up by the hospital). A suprapubic catheter was inserted and a Urologist came to see him whilst he was recovering. He was told after he recovered from his op he would be taken in for a minor op to rectify the issue with his bladder. He was discharged from hospital mid March with this catheter still in place. I went to see him just over a week later and he was suffering from an infection (due to the catheter). He went to his GP who gave him antibiotics and discovered that he had been sent home with the wrong type of catheter as this one was being held in with a stitch. The GP contacted Urology and explained that the catheter was infected but the consultant that was dealing with my father was on holiday so the duty doctor just advised the GP to get it changed. A district nurse came out the following day and changed his catheter for him. I contacted urology to explain my fathers situation and ask if there was any idea on a date for his surgery. I was told they did not have his discharge notes and that he may have been missed but they would check and get back to me that day. . They called later that day with an appointment at Urology clinic in April. He attended the clinic on this date and saw the Consultant who confirmed he would be required to come into hospital for a 1 night stay to have the scarring on the tube removed and check if he could then urinate normally. The Consultant also told my father that day that his notes had been passed on before she went on holiday but it would appear he was missed but he was now a priority.

He attended his appointment with the Oncologist a few days later April as he requires chemotherapy due to the tumours on his liver that cannot be removed. The Oncologist explained the severity of the situation and that his diagnosis was January and this was now April and he had still not started chemo. He wanted it to start asap but not until the catheter was removed due to the risk of infection. He scheduled his first chemo session for early May with the understanding that the op to remove the catheter would be done by before then and so there was time for the scarring to heal.

My father had a pre-op appointment for his Urology procedure and asked the nurse if she had a date for his op and explained the situation. She tried urology but the consultant was not in. She also got in touch with the Oncology Consultant and he sent a message to the Urologist regarding my fathers situation.

I contacted the Urology Consultant who called me back this today. I was told that my father was looking at a date in June for his operation as that was the first available slot. I explained what the oncologist had said regarding infection and how my father was already a month behind in his treatment. I was told that it had been discussed with the Oncologist and he was going to go ahead with the chemo anyway. I was told that Urology department have a meeting on a Wednesday and it can be discussed then to see if anyone else can do it sooner (It is Wednesday today). I explained that following the shock of the diagnosis and the treatment that he will have to go through the thing that has affected him the most is the catheter which he has had in for over 6 weeks now. We are also petrified at the added risk of infection. I was then told by the Consultant about the pressures on the NHS and the shortage of beds (which I am fully aware of) but my priority is the ongoing care and quality of life of my father. I cannot fault the rest of the NHS staff who have all been immensely helpful and caring during the most difficult time in our lives but we feel completely let down by the Urology department.

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Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear Laneelou

Thank you so much for taking the time to feedback to us. I can see that you and your father have quite a traumatic and distressing time. Clearly a number of things have not gone well. I would really like to look at these issues in more detail and wonder whether you would be willing to come and meet with myself and the Associate Medical director (with your fathers permission)

Can you contact me on linda.kirkland@nhs.net and I can arrange a time which would suit or if you would rather we can discuss by e mail or on the phone

Kind regards


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