"Terrible treatment and misdiagnosis"
About: Borders General Hospital / Planned Surgical Admissions Unit Borders General Hospital Planned Surgical Admissions Unit Melrose TD6 9BS Western General Hospital / Gastroenterology Western General Hospital Gastroenterology EH4 2XU
Posted by Jobless cancer patient (as ),
I went to my GP with symptoms of bowel cancer and was referred to Borders General Hospital (BGH) in May 2019.The team at NHS Borders decided to downgrade me from urgent as per guidelines for suspected cancer to routine before any tests or examinations were carried out.I believe BGH was struggling to meet waiting list targets for operations due to being under stress from the winter vomiting virus.I think that was their reason to downgrade me and they then were able to prolong my appointments for tests and to actually see any clinician.I had my first test 7 weeks after my GP referral. The test was carried out on a Sunday as they were trying to catch up, notably my test was carried out by a locum who in the report diagnosed probable cancer, urgent and suitable to be treated within 4 weeks using key hole surgery (which BGH can't do so is referred to their joint team at Western General Hospital (WGH) in Edinburgh).If I Had been treated for suspected cancer (which I have) then I should have been treated within. 62 days of my GP referral and not the more than six months it eventually took.Again NHS Borders appear to have ignored the advice of a fellow clinician.I was not seen for over three weeks at BGH and was told again that my lesion as they called it may be suitable for key hole surgery! They decided in agreement with the team at WGH to refer me to WGH, ie I did not ask for that it was two clinical teams who referred me.I was not seen until late September some four months after my GP referral.Crucially that appointment was four days after I was made redundant by my employer because I could not give any information or a return to work date.I have had no apology or sympathy for the fact that I lost my job as a result of their clinical decisions and lack any information other that dates for the appointments related to my condition.I was re-examined and the clinician (at WGH) stated they thought they themselves could carry out key hole surgery but had no operating slots until at least the end of November.Two weeks later BGH cancer nurse (why a cancer nurse if as I have been told that they thought they were dealing with polyps?) phoned to say I would need to have a larger operation at BGH and an appointment would be made.I went to an appointment at BGH almost two weeks later (having taken bowel preparation for expected examination only to be told I was being referred back to WGH again!)You can imagine that I was very frustrated by all of the delays and back and forth and that I had lost my job because of the length of time it had taken up until then.(some 19 weeks after GP referral) Guidelines state maximum of 18 weeks referral to treatment and I still had no idea when my treatment would be.I then waited again to see the clinician at WGH in late November six months after GP referral only to be accused of refusing an operation at BGH when I went in October.This is utterly false and I have had no apology for that.I have made a complaint about this to NHS Borders however their final decision is that I caused my delays and I chose to have the operation at WGH.Again that is absolutely false.So my treatment by BGH, WGH, NHS Borders (and the team at WGH) has been nothing short of a nightmare and they still claim I decided to have one operation over another when I am sure this is their excuse to cover up that they misdiagnosed me or downgraded me.Bottom line. Yes I do have cancer I have No job because of them, I have absolutely no faith or trust in any one involved outwith my GP.I expect this not to be published but if it is, what I would tell every patient who is referred to that BGH team is that I wish I had made sure I had a witness with me during appointments and also recorded them.