"MAU is a least best option for a chemo patient"

About: Dewsbury & District Hospital

(as the patient),

I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for a second time for breast cancer. I was referred to Dewsbury Hospital for a CT guided lung biopsy and did not have a good experience.

The letter informing me of my appointment advised that I would be called on the morning I was due to attend advising me where I would need to report and that there was a possibility I may have to stay overnight.

There was no information regarding the procedure itself, which just added to the stress and uncertainty of what was going to happen.

As a single parent it was difficult to make plans and arrangements not knowing much at all. Enquiries I made at my local hospital left me further confused as no one there could give me exact details.

On the day of I was called mid morning and told to report to the MAU, which I did. No one knew why I was there, no one was able to tell me any more detail and was told a doctor would come and see me later. That did not happen. Bloods had to be repeated, even though I had been told to organise that the day before. My Hickman line was not flushed properly and I felt very vulnerable and exposed to unnecessay infection.

I am doing my upmost to stay fit and healthy to get through my treatment only to be placed on a ward that is dealing with a multitude of possible infections.

It was only when I got into the CT room and saw a doctor, that I was able to get any answers to my questions. I had then been on the ward for over 5 hours.

The staff there were amazing and I have nothing but praise for the care and support I received whilst I was with them.

Once back on the ward I had to wait a couple of hours before having an xray to ensure all was well. I chased this with the staff for over an hour, bearing in mind it was now after 7pm and I was anxious to get home to my family. After numerous requests I was finally told there was no porter available and would I make my own way to xray; something I had been offering to do. The xray department was empty and had been waiting for me.

Once back on the ward I needed a doctor to review the xray so I could go home. There then began a dispute between the doctor and the nurse as to who was going to sign me as fit to leave. I politely asked them to sort it out whilst I got dressed to go home.

I arrived home just before 9pm.

It would not have been difficult to provide information about the procedure and place me on a more appropriate ward. I can appreciate the need for MAU wards, but in my view it is the least best option for a patient undergoing chemotherapy.

My experience cannot be changed, but I am hoping that I can at least make a difference for someone else.

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