"Horrendous waiting lists undermine the excellent..."

About: The Royal Marsden Hospital (London)

If you had asked me last year what I thought of the Royal Marsden I would have talked at length about the overwhelming respect and gratitude that I had for the hospital and its staff. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age I had a full mastectomy and reconstruction. My referral was quick and my medical team were excellent; as were the staff on Ellis Ward during my recovery. One and a half years down the line however, I find myself in tears over the waiting lists after being told that it will be at least another six months before I can have the next stage of my breast reconstruction. It should not take two years to reconstruct a breast, let alone for a girl in her twenties! I would like to be able to move on with my life. With breast cancer rates hugely on the rise I want to know what the NHS is going to do to stop these waiting times from getting worse. The Royal Marsden can't treat everyone. Treatment quality and surgical options need to be improved throughout the UK so that referrals to the Marsden can be reduced.

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Response from The Royal Marsden Hospital (London)

Thank you for your positive comments regarding your initial experience at The Royal Marsden. We are very sorry for the distress you are experiencing regarding the wait for breast reconstruction surgery. We would like to reassure you that our waiting lists are managed fairly, and waiting time is determined by clinical need. We review the waiting list weekly to ensure the best possible outcome for patients awaiting surgery. As we are a reconstructive surgery centre, we do have high demand for the surgical services, and this can result in the waiting times you have experienced. If you need further support through this experience, please contact your keyworker or The Royal Marsden Help Centre on 0800 783 7176 who will be happy to help you.

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