"Cancer patient - poor care."

About: Pontefract General Infirmary

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My mother was left for 3.5 weeks with malignant pleural effusion – when the oncologist had said she needed to see a chest Dr in 3 days – not 3 weeks! She suffered a heart attack due to the fluid build-up. I had to chase to get her seen. When the nurse was telling us she was chasing all the time and could not get her in. The chest Dr said he did not get the referral. Lack of communication! They could have killed her with this level of delay – as it is they made her very ill. There is a serious issue with the referral process.

She then saw an oncologist (not her usual one) who said her cancer had grown significantly – yet this had NOT been mentioned in her earlier appointment – he showed me

shadowing on the x-ray and said that that shadow was the new growth. We were in shock.

When she then got in to see her usual oncologist (who is excellent and I assume I cannot mention names) he said actually no, that shadowing was the scar tissue from the radiotherapy. The previous Dr did not know what he was looking at, which is scary, as he is an oncologist! We have since had put on her file that we will not deal with him again.

It is scary enough having cancer but getting messed around so much that they could kill you from lack of care is unforgivable.

I would recommend her usual oncologist but not the other one.

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Response from Pontefract General Infirmary

We are concerned to note these comments and would be pleased to arrange for the episode to be investigated if the family would like to contact us directly. The email address is pals@midyorks.nhs.uk

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