"The delay in diagnosis and treatment is significant"

About: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital / General medicine

(as a volunteer/advocate),

Patient with a recurrent, aggressive cancer has suffered a recurrence.

On attending the clinic at QEH for biopsy has been told on this occasion that histopathology samples all go to Cambridge for examination and it will be two weeks before results are available. On previous occasions the sample has been examined 'in house' and results have been available immediately.

This delay to diagnosis and treatment is seen by the patient as significant and possibly life-threatening.

Surely such a retrograde step in service to known cancer patients is not acceptable.

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Response from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for your comment about the Histopathology service. I am sorry that the changes to the service have caused you such concerns. The centralisation of Histopathology services is part of a national programme of change over which this Trust has no influence. The decision was made to focus these services in one key provider within a region and the chosen provider in this area is Addenbrookes Hospital. The Trust is monitoring the turnaround times and the quality of the service provided to our patients and is vigorously challenging and lobbying for improvement when there are delays or problems affecting the treatment our patients receive. I would be happy to discuss in greater detail should you wish to do so and my contact details are as follows: Claire Roberts Associate Director of Patient Experience Tel: 01553 613459 or email: claire.roberts@qehkl.nhs.uk

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