"Following two unsatisfactory consultations ..."

About: Royal Hampshire County Hospital

(as the patient),

What could be improved

Following two unsatisfactory consultations at the consultant level I went through my GP to transfer my cancer care to another hospital (A). My wife and I could scarcely believe we we in the same NHS. Where we had received brusque and dismissive dialogue at RHCH, our concerns were dealt with gently, kindly, and constructively by two different consultants at A. At RHCH my wife and I were made to feel stupid for suggesting that I might see an oncologist but at A I have been placed directly under the care of an oncologist at the surgeon's initiative!

There is something badly wrong with the attitude of senor medical staff at RHCH, even making allowances for pressure of work etc. The nursing staff can be splendid and must sometimes cringe to hear how patients are being dealt with by the consultants, who also seem to have no practical concern for the emotional stresses cancer patients are suffering.

I would personally oppose the elevation of RHCH to Foundation Trust status unless and until there is

1. clear evidence that the patient communication issues have been taken on board

2. action on this has taken effect

3. Specifically, the 'multidisciplinary' approach to cancer patient care, to which paper commitment has been made by RHCH, is implemented in practice in a context of mutual respect, understanding, and full co-operation between the specialisms, in all forms of cancer. In at least one cancer type, this is clearly not the case at the moment.

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