Breast cancer services criticised at Stafford Hospital

  • Posted

Posted 13/09/2012

A report by Monitor, the Health services watchdog, has said that the standard of breast cancer care services at Stafford Hospital is “deeply dysfunctional”. This was the conclusion reached by a peer review prepared by the Greater Midlands Cancer Research Network who highlighted a lack of support for the lead clinician from surgeons in the Multi Disciplinary Team. 

They found that forms in patients records had not been properly completed, most crucially noting that the site of proposed surgery had not been identified at all. The authors of the review said they were “seriously concerned about the effect on patient management and safety”.

Trefine Maynard, a solicitor with the specialist Clinical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal, said: “this is very worrying.  Over the years we have had a number of cases involving failure to properly treat patients with breast cancer and to learn that there are such basic failures and lack of care in a large hospital raises great concern over the care being provided to patients who put all their trust in their doctors.

To hear a review body say that the services were ‘deeply dysfunctional’ is shattering and must add immensely to the worries of patients already under huge stress as a result of their diagnosis. The advance in treatments available to cancer patients can be totally negated if the access to those treatments or the provision of the treatment is mishandled. 

Stafford Hospital was subject to huge and very public criticisms three years ago, so to find that there are still major concerns about very basic procedures not being carried out, particularly in the field of cancer care, almost passes belief. On diagnosis, or on suspicion of a possible tumour, patients need clear identification of the treatment being offered and then early and effective treatment. How this very poor level of care can still be present in a hospital which three years ago was subject to major and very public criticism is beyond me. I hope that this is addressed as a matter of the greatest urgency. Patients deserve the best care available to them.”


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