"cancer trial drugs induced colitis emergency..."

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

I was receiving immunotherapy trial drugs (cancer -melanoma) with Royal Marsden Sutton from July. I live in Hove. 7th Sept the side effects suddenly worsened and the R Marsden people said call 999, get to A&E, we will be in touch with them now. Your people were ready when the ambulance arrived.

I was in A & E for a few hours and then Howard 1. Colitis diagnosed and severe de-hydration. Discharged 11/9/15.

The care I received was very impressive. In A & E I was in a bay across from the nurses station and could hear constant communication between Sussex County and R Marsden. I was constantly examined by a variety of doctors - chest, heart, stomach, mental awareness. Had X rays, blood tests. When I was transferred to Howard 1, I was in a single room with own toilet on a key pad in case it was infection even though they were pretty sure it was drugs induced. Immediately on hydration drip and big (150mg) steroid drip. The night nurses constantly checked me. Two nights in that room then moved next door to share with another woman.

I had tests and samples taken every day - visits from a team of doctors from the R Sussex clinical Oncology people. R Marsden and your doctors were constantly in touch by phone. The "joined up" system worked flawlessly.

Everybody I was in touch with in Howard 1 took the time to explain and just talk and listen to me - doctors, nurses, pharmacy staff, kitchen staff. They were all busy but gave me much more than good professional medical care -

I was obviously quite frightened.

The colitis has now resolved and I have been taken off the immunotherapy drugs themselves and am on the monitoring phase of that trial. I will soon be starting a less experimental treatment with your Oncology clinic.

I have already sent a card and chocolates to the nurses station at Howard 1 and am writing this to have my appreciation officially recorded. Please pass my thanks on to A&E.

I would be grateful if you would confirm that these two have been effected.

Thank you. Carol Dawes.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Thank you for your comments.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact our Patient Advice & liaison Service (PALS) at pals@bush.nhs.uk or on 01273 664973.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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