"I am writing on behalf of my friend ..."
About: Chorley & South Ribble Hospital Chorley & South Ribble Hospital Chorley PR7 1PP
I am writing on behalf of my friend (a lady in her 30's) who is being treated with chemotherapy for secondary breast cancer. I had a tearful phonecall from her earlier today after she had been to the hospital for her weekly blood test. She has always been told that as she is on chemotherapy, she will be seen as soon as possible and does not have to wait in the queue - predominantly, to reduce exposure to infection. This system has worked well until today when my friend was told (in a very unsympathetic manner) that unless she was having chemotherapy today then she would have to wait like everyone else. My friend explained that she had always been told not to wait in the queue, but the nurse still refused to give her priority. My friend then dutifully waited, but was left feeling extremely humiliated and in her words 'as if nobody cared'. She felt that she was made to feel as if she expected preferential treatment, when in fact she was acting under orders given to her by the doctor and other health professionals. I am sure that the nurse in question could not possibly realise how much their actions could affect this particular patient, but I feel they need to know that my friends life is hard enough (as is anyones with cancer) without being subjected to this kind of treatment. The rules around chemotherapy patients and blood tests perhaps need to be clarified so this doesn't happen again. My friend did not want to be identified as she has great respect for the staff at Chorley hospital and does not want to be seen as someone who makes a nuisance of herself, but similarly she does not want anyone else to be left feeling like she did. I hope this experience can be used to improve this system and minimise the suffering of others in a similar position.