"Trouble getting an appointment-leads to neglected cancer case."
Posted by Cancer patient (as ),
My mother was waiting for an appointment with a consultant, Mr Saddique (Aplogies if spelling is incorrect), at Tameside Hospital, in order to arrange a colonoscopy,which was advised by her GP. After a wait of around 2 months and subsequent to her initial appointment being cancelled, I decided to ring the appointment department to find out why my mother had not been contacted again. She was by now feeling very poorly.
I asked the clerk (to whom I apportion no blame whatsoever for the response) when my mother might expect another appointment. She repied, "It could be tomorrow, it could be 6 weeks. Mr Saddique's clinic has been suspended and we don't know when it will resume." I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing so just for good measure I repeated the information, "So you are telling me that you have no idea when my mother might expect an appointment?" Response, "Yes, that's right. I'm very sorry but I can't tell you anything else. You could contact your GP to arrange something at another hospital."
Following this I contacted her GP and she was referred to Stepping Hill. Unfortunately, my mother had already waited for an extended period of time for Tameside Hospital to get in touch and sadly, due to the excessive pain she was experiencing, she could wait no longer. I took her to Stepping Hill Emergency Department, where she was admitted and diagnosed a week later, after several tests, with cancer of the bowel, stomach and liver.
Considering that early detection of cancer is paramount in terms of successful outcomes, Tameside would have failed miserably on this count. Who knows, my mother could well still be waiting had we not seized the intiative! Thank goodness there were other options available to us. If you find yourself in the same sad predicament as my mother, don't sit around and wait for someone to get back to you. Do what we did, be proactive and get to an A&E Department. In this way you have to be dealt with there and then - bypass the beaurocracy.
So much for the effeciency and care offered by Tameside Hospital! Please don't think this treatise is a criticism of the NHS, it most definitely is not. The care my mother has received at Stepping HIll & from Christie's has been outstanding. I sincerely believe the NHS is the jewel in our crown and the envy of the world. I am truly grateful for an NHS and would fight 100% to protect it.