"My moms cancer treatment"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

My mom had been undergoing treatment for her cancer over a period of 2 years. We cannot fault this at all - however in the final 2 weeks of her life we felt let down. She had spent a week as an in patient after numerous stays. She was discharged just before easter last year when clearly she was too ill to be discharged. She was discharged at night at about 8pm. (This was a lady with terminal cancer)

We had told we would have a few days notice to organise things at home. My mom collapsed the next day and injured herself and was admitted to our local hospital. They informed me that my mom had been discharged as 'beds were needed' which did not make us feel any better. I was desparate for contact between our hospital and the QE cancer centre but all I kept been told is that it was the easter holidays - finally after Easter Monday I myself, in desperation, begged the QE for intervention - when the QE realised the seriousness of the situation they made contact. I also had to read that my moms cancer progression was not good by means of her discharge notes that she came home with- no consultant had taken an opportunity to inform or prepare us. My mom sadly passed away the week after due to her illness progressing very quickly. This had been plain to see over the previous few weeks. We still kept our outpatient appointment with the QE to discuss things. The consultant was not aware of any of these things going on - but why - it was the consultants job to know - they could not tell us why things had not been discussed with us and why my mom had been discharged or why no contact between the QE and our local hospital had not happened sooner. All we kept hearing was 'easter holidays'. This was a very frightening time for our family.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Dear Jane,

Please accept our sincere condolences on your sad loss and thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your mom’s treatment and your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

We are very sorry to hear about the concerns you have regarding your mom’s discharge from hospital, and the further difficulties you experienced with the standard of communication at what was clearly a very difficult time for you.

If you would like to discuss this with us directly we would be very happy to listen to your concerns in more detail so that we can look into what went wrong and offer any further information or support required.

If you would like to do this please make contact via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will put you in touch with the relevant senior staff members.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office

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