"Issues with cancer care at St Thomas'"

About: St Thomas' Hospital / Oncology

(as a friend),

My friend had colon cancer. She had major surgery and a stoma.

She was vegetarian. It was impossible to find anything that she could eat from the hospital cafes etc. She was not allowed many vegetables, brown or granary bread and did not eat meat. There seemed to be no awareness of the needs of people in her position.

When she was an in-patient she was only once admitted to a cancer ward, the other admissions were to medical wards where she was nursed in isolation. There were repeated occasions when she was not offered the menu and therefore did not receive any food. When she was given food no-one appeared to notice whether or not she had eaten it, she often did not in fact. Because of her dietary problems we asked for a dietician to visit her but this did not happen.

Another point about her in-patient stays is that when she was given medication in pill form the staff did not check whether or not she had taken it. On many occasions when I visited her I found pills on her table. She did not like taking pills, but this meant that she, and the staff, were not complying with what was prescribed by the Drs and not complying with her care plan.

All this was happening throughout 2010 / the early part of 2011. She died in early 2011.

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