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Hospital gave me wrong cancer medicine
COLCHESTER’S hospital trust has admitted mixing up a terminal cancer patient’s medication.
Dennis Carter was sent a copy of a letter the trust wrote to his GP, which said “unfortunately, his medication was not necessarily given in a reasonable fashion”.
The letter, which left Mr Carter, 87, and wife Cherry, 64, horrified, went on to explain how, during his hospital stay, one medicine was restarted for an “unknown reason”. Another was stopped when it should not have been.
Even paperwork sent to Mr Carter’s GP from the trust also incorrectly detailed his medication.
Mrs Carter, of D’Arcy Road, Colchester, said: “I didn’t understand a lot of the letter, but all I could really get was the fact the medication was been mixed up.
“We were both shocked. I don’t know whether this mix-up has shortened Dennis’ life or not.
“To have a dying man’s medication mixed up like this is not right,” she added.
It is the latest in a series of problems at Colchester General Hospital, including an ongoing investigation into claims staff were bullied into altered cancer targets were fiddled.
The trust was also fined last month by the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group for missing target times for sending patients’ information back to GPs. The blunder over Mr Carter’s medicine happened during his stay at Colchester General last month. A summary of Mr Carter’s treatment, sent to his GP following his stay, revealed the mistakes.
Mrs Carter said she had previously praised the hospital in letters published in the Gazette.
One described how her husband had been admitted to hospital quickly, was treated well and the wards were clean.
Mr Carter was first diagnosed with kidney cancer seven years ago and, following a successful operation, doctors thought it had gone. But it returned aggressively about three years later and very recently spread to his lung.
Mrs Carter said: “It is just a matter of time now – he is having palliative care.”
A trust spokesman said: “We are very sorry Mrs Carter has concerns about her husband’s care and disappointed she has not raised them directlywith the trust. We would encourage her to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service, so we can investigate.
If mistakes were made, we will review our processes and, of course, apologise.’’
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