A WIDOWER who lost his wife, mother and father to cancer in less than four years said he feels "totally let down" by delays in their diagnosis and treatment.
Eammon McCaughan's wife, Agnes, died from bladder cancer aged 59 in May 2016, following a series of "unreasonable delays" in her care.
The case was highlighted by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), which criticised NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for a two and a half month lapse between Mrs McCaughan's biopsy results and surgery to remove part of her tumour for testing. The procedure should have been performed within 31 days, but was "rescheduled several times".
Following her diagnosis with bladder cancer that had spread into her muscles, the watchdog said the mother-of-six waited another "unreasonable" two and a half months to see a surgeon to choose a course of action. Then, after she suffered a heart attack in July 2015 - which postponed surgery to remove her bladder and lymph nodes - there were "multiple failings in communication between specialists" regarding her condition and treatment.
Mrs McCaughan, a personal assistant from Cathcart in Glasgow, underwent a triple heart bypass but the possibility of the cancer spreading while she waited for this operation and recovered from it was not "made clear" to her, said the watchdog.
A letter to the urology service at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow in November 2015 stating that Mrs McCaughan would be suitable for cancer surgery in December was also never acted on. By the time she had a CT scan in February 2016 the cancer had spread to her lungs and was terminal.
Although urologists said it was likely Mrs McCaughan's cancer would already have been advanced and untreatable by December 2015, the SPSO said "significant failings" in her care and the "unreasonable cumulative delays" caused distress to her family.
Mr McCaughan, 50, said: "I just feel totally let down by the health service. Every time we turned up at hospital we were told 'you're appointment's cancelled, you shouldn't be here'. At one point I ended up in hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack, just from all the stress and carry on. It was ridiculous. I've spoken to a lawyer but he said there's nothing he can do."
The death of his wife of 20 years came soon after the bus driver had lost his mother to lung cancer and his father to bladder cancer. His sister, who lives in Edinburgh, was also diagnosed with breast cancer just weeks before he buried Agnes, although she has since made a full recovery.
Mr McCaughan took his mother, Sarah McCaughan, a retired auxiliary nurse, to the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow in summer 2012 after she complained of pain in her arms and chest. She had recently returned from a visit to Edinburgh, at the time in the midst of a Legionnaire's Disease outbreak, and the family feared she had contracted the infection.
A junior doctor ordered an X-ray but ruled out Legionnaire's and sent the 72-year-old home with tablets. She was telephoned eight weeks later - after a radiologist finally reviewed her X-ray - and told to return to hospital urgently.
Mr McCaughan said: "By the time she went in, we were just told it was a case of getting chemotherapy to prolong her life - it wasn't for anything else."
Sarah McCaughan died in December 2012.
Mr McCaughan said his father, Edward, was also repeatedly turned away from A&E. The 79-year-old already had renal failure but Mr McCaughan said he and his sister "knew there was something else wrong", but could not persuade medics to investigate his symptoms.
He said: "It was only when my other sister from London came up, and she is a nurse, that she said to them 'look we can't look after him, you've got to take him in'. She kind of forced the issue. And once they took him in, they found out he had bladder cancer."
Edward McCaughan died in June 2015.
A spokeswoman for NHSGGC said: "Our thoughts are with Mr McCaughan as he continues to grieve for his wife. We wrote to him offering our apologies for the failings with this patient’s care.
"The ombudsman report in August made a number of recommendations and we accepted these in full at the time and took the necessary actions to address them.
"The ombudsman has advised that all recommendations made in this case have been met and it has confirmed that its involvement is at an end.
"We are saddened to hear that Mr McCaughan is unhappy with the care received by other family members. Although it is now a number of years since Mr McCaughan’s family members received treatment, we would, of course, be happy to discuss these concerns with him."
Source link : http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/16046951.Glasgow_man_who_lost_wife_and_parents_to_cancer_says_all_were___39_let_down__39__by_NHS/
Publish date : 2018-02-25 18:31:46
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