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About: Furness General Hospital

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My wife was admitted to Abby view hospital, it was discovered she had a shadow on her kidney; the doctor wanted her to go to see a consultant. So she went and he confirmed that she had Kidney cancer. His prognosis at first was go to the royal Preston hospital key hole surgery to remove the kidney and then take further treatment that is required from that date. But he did want further test carried out before going to Preston. One of the test was a nuclear medicine scan to see if the remaining function of the remaining kidney could cope with the bodily functions.

Within a day or two of this test, my wife experienced pain in her right shoulder. its was her right arm that had been held out stretched without any support for 25-30 mins approx. the out of hrs GP left liquid morphine and anti sick tablets after his visit. The following Tuesday our own GP visited and requested my wife going to A&E for an x-ray on her right shoulder. They decided to keep my wife in hospital as they found what they called a chest infection. On the Friday of that week she was discharged, on that day I was greeted at the nurses station by the ward manager who informed me that the Palliative care nurse wanted to have a word with me. I asked if my wife was terminal but I was told by the ward manager that she couldn't say but the doctor was coming in to see us anyway.

The doctor arrived and informed me that my wife didn't want to be resuscitated and she had refused the operation, the rest of the short conversation was based around me caring for my wife; which i had done anyway over the past 20 years. When I queried his comments he said he would speak to his boss and get back to me. I am still waiting nearly two years later... The Palliative care nurse arrived and in private i asked her if my wife was terminal. She replied that she could not say but she did tell me that the cancer had spread to both lungs. On the Sunday after her discharge I called the GP out of hrs service and during the conversation the GP confirmed that the cancer had spread to both lungs and also not further treatment was planned. On the Wednesday I asked our own GP who on the available hospital information that she had told me that the wife was terminal.

My Wife Died on the Saturday, 8 Days after discharged.

I have taken my concerns to UHMB Trust who find that all the staff present on the day of discharge thought it was explicit that my wife was seriously ill and indeed terminal. They apologize for no medical staff telling me directly but they felt it was explicable throughout that my wife was terminal. I am a retired bus driver and have access to the internet but I'm not medically qualified. I felt that the apology contained in the letter was given as an afterthought. I then took my complaint to the PHSO who agreed that the hospital's report didn't raise any concerns.

Do people now have to guess the outlook when they are discharged when they are suffering from a serious illness?

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Response from Furness General Hospital

Although you have already spoken to us and the Health Service Ombudsman, if there are any further areas you would want to discuss with us please contact our Customer Care team on 01539 795 497 and we will do our utmost to help.

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