"First Class Chemotherapy Treatment in Haematology"

About: Arrowe Park Hospital

I have received chemotherapy treatment in 2012 and 2014 and throughout both periods benefitted from the care, competence and compassion of all the staff in the haematology department in Arrowe Park Hospital. A little background as to why I found myself needing chemotherapy: I have a rare disease called AL Amyloidosis. Amyloid is an abnormal protein that deposits in organs, causing organ dysfunction and can lead to organ failure. In my case I have liver, spleen and kidneys involvement. I was diagnosed in April 2012 by the National Amyloidosis Centre (NAC) in the Royal Free Hospital in London, where my local gastroenterologist had referred me after a liver biopsy had revealed the presence of amyloid. The NAC's recommended treatment was CTD chemotherapy, which was designed to stop the elevation of light chains (the 'L' of disease name) in my blood and thus stop the production of amyloid. While the NAC manages the disease, my local hospital manages the chemotherapy treatment. So it was that I found myself in the care of the haematology department in Arrowe Park. I had my first appointment with the consultant in May 2012. I found them very informative and they set me up with a session with a specialist nurse to further explain the chemotherapy regimen and it's possible side effects. A lovely and compassionate approach. It's quite scary to be told you're going to undergo chemotherapy, so I appreciated this. Two weeks after my first appointment with them the consultant prescribed my first cycle of chemotherapy. This particular regimen could all be administered at home in 21 day cycles. I had an appointment with the consultant between each cycle at which my response and, importantly, tolerability to the treatment was checked. I was very happy with the level of communication and the fact I was a part of the decision-making process. The treatment finished after 7 cycles in October 2012. It had been successful! I had a wonderful 18 months in remission before needing more treatment to address my elevated light chains again in May 2014. The NAC recommended a different chemotherapy regimen this time, to culminate in a stem cell transplant (SCT - dealt with elsewhere). I was back with the consultant in haematology in Arrowe Park in May 2014 and they prescribed the chemotherapy that the NAC recommended. The chemotherapy this time involved twice weekly visits to the haematology Day Ward for an injection. This gave me an insight into another part of the team of highly competent and caring nurses and doctors. I suffered some quite severe side effects when in cycle 3 (of 4) of the treatment and was admitted to the haematology ward (Ward 30) in August 2014. Once they'd stabilised me after three nights in, I was discharged and I was so grateful for the care I'd received on this ward. Once again, the competence and compassion of the staff shone through. The (successful) chemo finished in August 2014. I have no hesitation in recommending haematology in AP Hospital.

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Responses

Response from Arrowe Park Hospital

Thank you very much for your kind comments and please accept my sincere apology for the delay in replying to you. We are extremely grateful that you have taken the time to provide this feedback and are happy to hear that your treatment has been successful. Our staff work hard to try to ensure that a patient’s experience whilst at the hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible, and they are always considerably heartened and motivated on learning how much their efforts have been appreciated. We have passed your kind sentiments to the Haematology Department. If we can be of further assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on freephone 0800 432 0251, email wih-tr.pals@nhs.net or in writing to PALS, Arrowe Park Hospital, Arrowe Park Road, Upton, Wirral, CH49 5PE. Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Response from Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you very much for your feedback. We are very proud of the care we provide.

We have responded to this on NHS Choices. If you would like to discuss this further please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on freephone 0800 432 0251, email wih-tr.pals@nhs.net or in writing to PALS, Arrowe Park Hospital, Arrowe Park Road, Upton, Wirral, CH49 5PE.

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust