"Disaster in radiotherapy"

About: North Middlesex Hospital

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I was due to start radiotherapy at the North Middlesex last Wednesday. This was delayed to this Monday due to a broken machine. On Monday I was sent home untreated from the hospital as the machines had broken again. Finally had first dose yesterday (Tuesday - almost a week after original appointment). Today (Wednesday) I was called on my mobile ten minutes prior to my appointment time to say the machine had broken again, could I come in later. I arrive later and am told that all three machines are broken again so treatment completely cancelled today. Radiotherapy is supposed to be delivered five days a week. Cancelling appointments reduces effectiveness. I am really upset and wish I was being treated at another hospital. I was told that the servicing of the machines has been delayed by senior management and this is the most likely reason they are now not working.

I also had problems with this hospital when I had surgery for my cancer. Despite being called at 7.30am for day surgery I was not operated on until 6.30pm. An agonising wait,no indication was given as to where I was in the queue as the lady on reception said she did not have a correct list. After surgery I was sent home very soon after coming round and ended up back in A&E with urine retention - perhaps not surprising as I had been nil by mouth including fluids for almost 24 hours and not even give a drip to hydrate me.

There are some excellent clinical staff at this hospital but unfortunately the management does not seem to be able to give them the facilities to do their job property.

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

Thanks very much for your helpful feedback which you and I discussed in detail back in January. Following on from that I'm really pleased to say by way of update on this website that our new state of the art radiotherapy machine has not only arrived but is just a few days away from being ready to start treating the first patients. It's faster than our older machines and I'm confident for other patients that there will be fewer delays due to breakdowns. Thanks very much for your understanding and help. Joanne McCaffrey, head of radiotherapy.

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