"Inefficient, lack of care, delays"

About: Royal Derby Hospital

My mother came in after after her lumpectomy operation. Having been told that treatments for breast cancer are quickly done as to reduce any chance of spread etc.

Here's where the dibacle began, the doctor had us wait 2 weeks for the results of a HERS test which when they did come were equivocal (neither positive or negative). We weren't offered a secondary test (FISH) which I had read about, and were given vague assurance that maybe radiotherapy should be ok - how is that giving my mother any kind of assurance that the treatment plan is correct? The doctor then sent us down to Radiotherapy for a planning session, stating that the treatment will start the following Monday, after phoning down to the department to make them aware we were coming down.

Once we arrived, they apparently had no idea who we were, and asked for papers - which we weren't given. Instead of taking care of that, they told us that nobody should come down to Radiotherapy without papers. Now tell how many patients know these rules - for the life of me I don't know why it's not automated so this situation doesn't occur. They eventually told us to take a seat in the waiting area. Another family took a seat opposite us 10 minutes later - who looked quite upset. The nurse then comes across and asks us which one of us came first so that they could take that person for the planning session. Now why do you not know who came and at what time. instead of making us feel like we're fighting it out for 'privilage'.

Once mum had gone for the scan, we were told that her treatment wouldn't start for another 4 weeks. Well that's a stark difference to what the doctor had advised. But more importantly, from all advise available (cancer research org), treatment should start in a couple of days or a week from the planning session. This is the most concerning part. I voiced this concern to the Radiotherapy team who said that it's normal to wait that long. I've now spoken to the doctors PA who at first told me to speak to the Radiotherapy team and then said they would speak to them and advise the doctor. They didn't advise whether they would call back or not - I suspect not as we didn't receive a call about the HERS test result - even though we were calling almost everyday.

Still very concerned...

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Response from Royal Derby Hospital

Thank you for your comments and I would like to take this opportunity to offer your mother my apologies for the upset that has been caused in respect of this matter.

I can confirm that we would be happy to investigate the concerns raised within your comments, if your mother provides us with consent.

The Patient Advice & Liaison Team (PALS) can be contacted on 0800 7837691, quoting reference number 29410.

Kind Regards, The PALS Team

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