"My father's first oncologist ..."

About: Southend Hospital

What I liked

My father's first oncologist and the chemotherapy treatment unit

What could be improved

My father was treated for several months for irritable bowel syndrome. On his second appointment with his consultant he was told that it was unlikely that there was anything seriously wrong and was given a further appt for investigations in 12 weeks. 8 weeks later my father's abdominal pain became unbearable so we took him to A & E where a simple x ray detected an enormous obstruction in his colon. He was operarated on the following day where the surgeon removed a large part of his colon. A week later my father was told the growth had been cancerous and had travelled to his liver. The news was given in a matter of fact way with no real bedside manner.

My father had 6 months of chemotherapy and responded well. His oncologist was absolutely superb. She was compassionate, warm and honest with that extra something I wish all doctors had. Unfortunately she left the hospital and although the next oncologist was fine, he seemed to rush through his appts which took away my dad's confidence to a degree.

At a later appt my father was given the news that his lungs were now affected-again delivered in an uncaring way. Another month into more chemotherapy, my father became very ill, unable to eat with chronic, persistent diarrhoea. He was admitted to hospital in Dec 09 where he was told he possibly had salmenella. A week later, over christmas he was told that he had in fact been overdosed with chemotherapy-the dose had been too high for his weight. He was sent home with no apology nor explanation. My father never recovered from this-he died in April 10

Anything else?

Although my father had no complaints about his whole treatment, my family and I were shocked at the flippant way in which bad news was delivered and also that mistakes were brushed under the carpet..

Throughout the whole 3 years of his illness we have met some great nurses(particularly the chemo unit) but unfortunately ,also some very poor practice

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Responses

Response from Southend Hospital

We are sorry to hear of you and your families’ experiences. If you wish to make a formal complaint in respect of your concerns please write to us, addressing your letter to Sarah Ballard-Smith, Director of Nursing.

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