"Initial appointment"

About: Mount Vernon Cancer Centre

I attended with my husband and daughter (who is a specialist nurse in another hospital) for an initial appointment for my husband who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He needed to see both an urologist and an oncologist to decide his treatment.

On the same day, earlier we had seen the urologist at another Trust.

To say that the experiences were poles apart would be an under statement.

Having been held in a holding pen (waiting room) for more than an hour we were moved to another waiting room. This was obviously only necessary because of the enormous wait.

We had been warned that we should expect to wait a couple of hours by a previous patient!

If the clinic waits always get like this then someone needs to book in less patients.

Some of the patients were clearly very poorly and it is awful for them

After a 2 hour wait we saw a doctor who "works with the Prof" .

We understand that not everyone can see the lead consultant however she instilled absolutely no confidence.

All statements were in terms of "i guess" " maybe" "more / less patients" and she needed to go to speak with the Prof to get answers to questions ( no problem per se).

We have no issue with junior doctors ( our son was one) but there are ways of imparting information to instil confidence in the patient.

We had done a fair bit of research and possibly she was just unable to deal with a patient who is well informed.

No wonder people want to see the top man. There were particular issues that I will not address here.

My husband was then faced with making a decision whether to go for surgery/ radiotherapy. In situations such as these each doctor needs to give the patient reasons why they should choose that path.

Our daughter's response (to me not her Dad) was "it's a no brainer" I think that was purely because the oncologist was so poor not because the info given was persuasive.

Whilst my husband in choosing surgery has probably made the right decision it has possibly been made for the wrong reasons due to the poor experience at Mount Vernon so far.

The whole experience was really very poor.

(1) don't book in so many patients if the wait routinely becomes 2 hours by the end of the day.

Clearly patients with such serious illness need longer for appointments than is being allowed for

(2) get junior doctors to say what kind of junior they are ( F1 ST 1 etc) We have no idea what grade of doc we saw, if she was very junior and she had told us then we would have had more understanding and accepted her limitations. One assumes at least a specialist.

If she was a specialist then she needs more help with her delivery

(3) promote the car park attendant - he was the very best thing about the hospital

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Responses

Response from Mount Vernon Cancer Centre

You're clearly unhappy with the care that your husband, you and your daughter experienced whilst at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre recently, for which we are very sorry.

And you also seem to have more that you might wish to say on the matter, but this may not be the best medium - so we would like to invite you to contact us at generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net so that we can put you in touch with the cancer centre's senior clinical management team.

We hope that you are able to give us that opportunity.

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