"Gynaecological cancer care"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Gynaecology Services NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service) NHS Grampian

(as the patient),

This is a historical post but still worth posting I think. After a very sudden and considerable gynecological bleed (4 years into menopause), I called NHS 24. I was told just to go to my GP. In hindsight I should simply have attended hospital in any case. I managed to get an appointment later that day. My GP was very concerned and said he would refer me for an "urgent" outpatient appointment - probably later that week.

Two weeks later I had heard nothing (still bleeding), and GP said they  would chase it up. Was eventually seen 10 weeks later (still bleeding! ). Was called back after 2 weeks for results (not good news) and told I would be having surgery within the next 3 weeks; eventually had surgery nearly 6 weeks later!

One year on, and following not only major surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy, I cannot fault the in and outpatient care I received once things got moving - but I am concerned that a timescale that could potentially have been around a month from first symptoms to surgery turned into four and a half months (and then 6 months of treatment). I'm sure this breaks all the cancer treatment guidelines, and feel very lucky that things were still treatable by the time I was finally seen.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear Ma23

Thank you for taking the time to tell your story via Patient Opinion which I read with interest. It is clear that this has been a frustrating and worrying time for you and I do sincerely wish you well.

The Patient Opinion Team tagged NHS 24 to your story as you mentioned that you had contact with our service and we referred you to your own GP. I note that you managed to get an appointment later that day, however the timescales thereafter clearly impacted on your experience. I am keen to explore your contact with NHS 24 to establish if there is anything different we could have done when you contacted us.

It may be helpful to explain that should a patient call our service during the daytime, and if their symptoms are ongoing, then we do refer patients to their own GP, as patient care is provided by a patients own GP during surgery opening times. Some further detail from you however, would assist us in establishing exactly when we received your call and how this was managed. We welcome all patient feedback, so I would be very pleased to hear further from you should you wish us to look into this for you. I can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

Take care

With kind regards


Shona Lawrence

NHS 24 Patient Affairs Manager

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant, Person Centred Care, NHS Grampian

Dear patient

Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. Anyone reading this would be concerned about the length of time that it took before your treatment commenced. I am so sorry that these delays happened and also gladdened that your illness was caught in time. The outcome could have been so different and potentially devastating for you and your family, as I am sure you are only too well aware.

Symptoms such as yours should always be taken seriously and it is worrying that no one acted sooner.

I hope that by telling your story on Patient Opinion people will better understand how important it is to listen to the patient.

Cancer targets are challenging but important and for the most part I beleive we do a good job by the people of Grampian. However we want to get it right for every patient every time. Clearly we did not in your case and we apolgise for that.

Your story will be highlighted to NHS Grampian staff. Thank you again for sharing your experience for the benefit of others.

Wishing you continued good health.

Kind regards

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