"Consider the carers"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / Breast surgery

(as the patient),

My wife has just been treated for breast cancer - successfully we hope - and we have been very pleased witht the tretament she's recieved - courteous and on time almost throughout.

My complaint is that at no stage was I (her husband) ever asked if the schedule of tretament was OK for me to fit in around. I am self-employed so obviously am a lot more flexible than those that are employed - nevertheless, the schedule we were given for her radiotherapy resulted in me having to make a lot of changes to pre-arranged appointments with my clients - in some cases several times as the hospital would not give us the full six-week schedule all at once on the grounds that changes might be needed! (we were only given on day at a time.) One client finally got to the stage where he couldn't wait for me any longer, so he had to take his work elsewhere. That was £15,000 of consultancy business I lost - at a time when I needed all I could get and we needed the worry like a hole in the head.

We are grateful that she is now on the mend - but it's time I feel that hospital adminstrators - and especially consultants - relaised that their arrogance has a serious impact on others and the patient is not the only one affected by the need to travel daily to hospital.

We attended Kettering General for Chemo - no complaints there - and Northampton General for Radiotherapy which is where the problem lies - I was not even included in discussions of the treatment.

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Response from Northampton General Hospital

Thank you for the positive comments you have made regarding the staff in our Radiotherapy unit

Your posting has been read by the manager of the department who is distressed at your experience as there is no reason why your wife’s whole course of treatment could not have been booked, with times in advance.

The only time this would need to have been changed would have been to see the doctor or if there were any technical problems with the machinery.

The last sentence in your comments says you were not included in discussions regarding your wife’s treatment, all patients treatment is confidential however we will be reviewing how we ask patients if they would like their husband/partner to be present at these discussions.

Following your comments we will be investigating our procedures to ensure that all staff are aware of our patients and families needs and our policy to accommodate them.