"Lack of care for my father's pancreatic cancer"

About: King George Hospital / General medicine Queen's Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My fathers health had deteriorated and for him to have chemo he needed to build his strength up.

The hospital did not offer intravenous nutrition and supplied him with fortisip etc. They gave us a prognosis of 2-3 months. Chemo would only be an option if my father's strength and nutrition improved, so why didn't the hospital provide this care? Our opinion is and still remains that the reason my father wasn't given the nutrients and strength building help is because the NHS had no intention of providing Chemo as " it would only give him an extra week or Month to live" quoted by one of the doctors on Holly ward King George Hospital. No man has the right to deny anyone to live, regardless of time. If this was royalty, would they be denied any care?

Also he had his stomach drained as it was filling with fluid. No one within the hospital said that this would be a common occurrence and he would require the drain every 2-3 weeks. No provision was put into place for future drainage. We were never informed of how much was drained or what his billirubin levels were.

A week or so after coming home my family called 999 to have him admitted to hospital to have his stomach drained. He went to Queens hospital in Romford. In the MAU ward a young member of staff tried to perform the drain and failed miserably, causing my father a lot of pain. They didn't check where the fluid was building up, didn't consult anyone and then called a junior doctor, who then performed the drain.

This in itself seemed a shambles. They didn't have all the necessary instruments, and laid towels on the side of the bed to collect the fluid, drained too quickly and my fathers blood pressure dropped therefore his haemoglobin levels dropped. My father was left with a wet bed and towels.

I asked to see the notes of when the drain was done, and nowhere in the notes did either of the 2 individuals correctly record the version of events. It was a doctor on Bluebell ward that showed me the notes. My father spent the next 10 days in hospital, why? I am, as is my family deeply disgusted with the lack of treatment and dignity my father has received from the very beginning.

We feel that the NHS has written my father off, due to his age. I am deeply ashamed of the NHS and the lack of duty of care provided. My father has a basic human right to proper treatment which we feel he has not received.

Up until today no one has asked for a dietician to assess my father, there still isn't a process in place for drainage and he hasn't been given any physio. What kind of system is this?

It is the opinion of a few individuals that this is a form of neglect. My father has a right to the best treatment available, who are the NHS to deny him that?

There are some staff on Holly ward at King George hospital who seem to have no people skills and are blatantly rude.

We have kept a diary of all conversations and procedures since we found out about my fathers illness.

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Responses

Response from King George Hospital

I am very sorry to hear about your father's experience. We want to make sure that every patient is kept comfortable, well cared for and is treated with dignity and respect no matter what their age or prognosis. Please could you contact me through the PALS team on 01708 435454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk so that we can address your concerns. Best wishes Dr Mike Gill Medical Director

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