"I was unfortunately diagnosed with prostate cancer"

About: Rotherham Hospital / Urology Rotherham PCT / Continence service

(as the patient),

It was early in 2007 that I was unfortunately diagnosed with prostate cancer, as the cancer was aggressive I was advised to have my Prostate removed by surgery before my bones were attacked. The operation was performed on May 1st 2007, but the 2 weeks estimated hospital stay developed into a five week one through problems arising. The care that I received was fantastic; I can’t fault the food, generous supply of in between drinks, cleanliness of the ward, but most of all the considerate nursing care and attitude. On the down side, no reflection on the NHS, my condition is worse now than when I was diagnosed. The surgeon was unable to remove all the cancer as it was attacking the prostate wall. Having had 4 weeks Radiotherapy I am now hoping that the remainder is now killed off. The worry that I now have are the inability to pass urine naturally, frequency and burning sensations. The only criticism is that when I had a catheter removed some 5 weeks ago, I was given a paper saying, “If it does not settle, see your GP”, (which seemed odd to me), but I phoned for an appointment and had to wait for over one week. The doctor said he could do nothing, but was good enough to fix an appointment up at the Hospital for me. This is again just over another week that I have to stand this pain. I have a gut feeling that I will soon be back on the ward.

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Response from Helen Wyatt, Manager, Patient and Public Involvement , Quality Assurance Team, Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group

“Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experiences.

I am really pleased to note that the experience you had in the hospital was a good one, and my colleague in Patient Advice Services at the hospital will make sure that these positive comments are fed back to the staff concerned.

I’m not sure if you know that we have recently made a lot of changes to the Continence Service. In the past, the right advice would have been to contact your GP, and seek further information from the ward.

However the changes we have made include a much more active community based service, which would aim to ensure that people don’t have to return to hospital if there is no need.

I am sorry that some of this information has not been given to you. Because the changes to the continence service are fairly recent, we have not as yet got all the information leaflets in place.

Joanne, the manager of the Continence service, tells me that she is now working with the ward to ensure that in the future, people who have had a catheter removed on the ward are given contact details for the continence service, and advised to contact these staff if there are any problems. This is a service that will be in place Monday to Friday, contact will continue to be through GP services during weekends or out of hours.

The continence services is also as a matter of urgency, looking to produce a patient information sheet. This will outline some of the common catheter related problems and simple solutions, contact numbers etc.

If you have an ongoing or urgent problem, or want more information, you may find the following useful:-

• Continence Service – for support and information about your catheter or related issues, please contact the continence service on 01709 423240

• Concerns around discharge at the hospital - contact Patient Advice Services on 01709 304461

• General support for people with cancer – information, grants and other support - Paula on 01709 307659

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Response from Helen Wyatt, Manager, Patient and Public Involvement , Quality Assurance Team, Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group

I have now received some moe detailed information from our continece service manager - I hope this helps.

'Some people do experience difficulties following the removal of a urinary catheter. The community continence service is currently looking at how they can offer support to people in this situation. As you mention you were advised to contact your GP if you experienced any problems following catheter removal, given your medical history this is the correct procedure to follow. However in order to try and offer speedier access to help and advice to patients in difficulty following catheter removal the manager of the continence service will be contacting staff at the Department of Urology to discuss if its is appropriate to include the continence service as a extra point of contact for help and advice in patient information leaflets. The continence service will be working on producing a number of patient information leaflets, outlining common problems and simple solutions in the near future and hope that patients will contribute to their development via a service user group'.

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