Doctors mistakes and problems...

The surgery involved in this case was: The Health Centre, 876 London Road, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK

 

Where they went wrong

This case may well shock you. From the outset the doctors involved that reside at the above address appear to have got things wrong... so wrong in fact that their misdiagnosis - firstly that Pat was suffering from a 'urine infection' for back ache then later a 'twisted spine' it is alleged contributed to reducing Pat's life considerably... and we don't mean by just a few days.

Doctor's are often under stress to 'get the job done' these days, but there is simply no excuse for not using common sense. For example, if someone came to you with a severe bad back ache even an ordinary person might well consider that at least an X-ray would be in order. The doctor's at this surgery did not consider that Pat should get an X-ray to eliminate things like cancer.

Medical records show no mention (and there was none) of an X-ray for the time periods under this practices care. But the main issue is that these doctors first saw Pat regarding her back ache on September 9th - that is in the records... and until November 5th the cancer was not diagnosed by anyone. That is nearly two months without proper diagnosis.

Symptoms of spinal cord tumors include (but depend on) the position of the tumor in the spinal cord. Spinal tumors often cause symptoms by pressing on the spinal nerves. Common symptoms include back and neck pain, numbness, and tingling and weakness in the arms or legs, or both.

Here are the official medical records and as you can see the doctors at this practice it is alleged never made a correct diagnosis even though physiotherapists kept referring Pat back to the doctors. Read the record (as yet these remain unpublished).

 

 

Why this wrongful diagnosis matters

Spinal metastases can be painful and if it is not treated can lead to metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC); this is when the spinal metastases presses on the spinal cord.

MSCC is rare; between 5 - 10% of cancer patients develop spinal cord compression. All types of cancer can spread to the bones of the spine but it is most common in cancers of the prostate, lung and breast. If not diagnosed and treated urgently, damage to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis.

ANY delay in diagnosis dramatically increases the risk of paralysis

In the case of Pat you can see that it clearly was a question of alleged wrong diagnosis after wrongful diagnosis. The doctors theories were basically wrong from the outset and the alleged misdiagnosed urine infection added a number of weeks to the final outcome. Then there was the secondary 'twisted spine' alleged misdiagnosis put forward by these doctors... and that added with the earlier issues of wrongful diagnosis contributed to the paralysis that Pat would allegedly later suffer at the hands of a hospital that insisted she had to walk but could not (see the hospitals section of this website for more about that).

Later after the cancer was diagnosed by others and the paralysis of Pat's legs was obvious, the hospital offered little or no way of extending Pats life 'because if we do then she will likely die of septicemia within one month'. It is absolutely clear that because of these doctors alleged incorrect diagnosis that added substantial and critical time to Pats diagnosis and treatment that their actions basically reduced Pats life to a choice of 1 month with treatment and likely death from septicemia or three months with no treatment.

Hardly a choice for a 61 year old woman enjoying life up to this point.

 

spinal-cord-cancer Spinal metastases may be a primary area of cancer or even a secondary site of cancer. In Pats case, she also had (it was even later found) that she had lung cancer - but she was NOT a smoker.

Pat had the spinal metastases around her 12th vertebrae and the hospital had to carry out emergency operation to resolve that problem with the use of metal bars etc.

Early diagnosis  of this problem contributes greatly to the outcome and wrongful diagnosis and late treatment might contribute to paralysis. In Pats case she was later 'walked' until she fell and then was paralyzed in Bradwell hospital. A very sad position to be in.

 

In summary, these doctors allegedly responsible for these wrongful diagnosis ( at The Health Centre, 876 London Road, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK) in Pat's own opinion should at least be removed from practicing simply because they appear to have little ability when it comes down to actually helping a patient that is suffering from cancer but they don't even offer to x-ray the patient. The results are appalling and that is why this website will highlight the way they worked and highlight that twice wrongful diagnosis. This is what sort of service we get when we pay for NHS sometimes.

It is completely irresponsible for ANY doctor when presented with a patient that has incredibly bad back pain to just assume that it's 'OK' because they have a 'hunch' to not send the patient for further investigative diagnosis and the patient ends up 'carrying the can' for the GP's mistakes. Christopher, Patricia's son had to INSIST that Patricia was sent for an MRI scan around five or six weeks in to this horrendous case. That MRI from Christopher's insistence never happened. Patricia was being operated on the day she should have had it! No one needs reminding that Christies in Manchester - one of the leading cancer hospitals in the world confirms 'ANY delay in diagnosis dramatically increases the risk of paralysis'. These doctor's from their actions it seems did not accept that. The result contributed to Patricia being offered 'no treatment' because by that time she was paraplegic. If only these doctors had bothered to follow what is clear to Christies cancer hospital in Manchester then it is likely that Patricia would have been given other treatment to extend her life.

The doctors? Oh they accept no responsibility whatsoever it appears. It highlights the ridiculous situation that anyone who is ill may not actually get the help they need from people that simply seem not to care less. Not sending someone for further investigations when in SEVERE pain around the spinal area is simply not an option and bad care contrary to the NHS standards of care that could have clearly been avoided and extended Patricia's life.

Check our documents section to see the doctors written response (not yet published) and note in their response where they suggest they offered x-ray treatment that is not confirmed in Pat's medical records and don't forget to listen about these doctors in Pat's own words in her final days of life which speak far louder than any written word from the GP's ever could.

Listen to Pat in her own words on video about these doctors and what she thought of them.

UPDATE 24th February 2017:

These doctors were written to by the family who complained about the GP's alleged wrong diagnosis and their alleged failure to care for Patricia in line with their paymasters (NHS England) NHS contractual obligations to care for patients to NHS care standards. The complaints were also forwarded to NHS England - the GP's (and hospitals) paymaster who is also responsible for ensuring these GP's and hospitals operate to a clearly defined standard of care.

However, what is shocking is that as soon as these GP's reply to the complainant then NHS England WILL NOT investigate the complaint! NHS England have said that the letter the family received from the GP was an 'investigation'. The reality is, that the GP's letter was just that... a self determined document that apportions no blame against the GP's written by the GP's! That document let's them off the hook as far as NHS England goes in to investigating the family's complaint. But the truth is, it's rather like the police investigating themselves... and most people would not be too happy about what is often the results of those investigations. Someone investigating themselves rarely arrives at a truthful result but may well 'massage' things so that any 'investigation' (we'll call it that for now) of themselves reflects whatever view they want it to fit.

Does something sound wrong? Too right it does. What this means is this:

ANY doctor that replies directly to a complaint stops their paymaster from investigating the complaint. Furthermore, NHS England's OWN RULES do not allow NHS England to investigate any breach of contract that the GP may commit.

It seems that GP's will be fully aware about this little sneaky trick to avoid proper investigative procedures by their paymaster and to be able to take 'preventative actions' to stop their paymaster from investigating contractual breaches of NHS care between the paymaster and the GP. Nice. But not for the patient and no one cares at all that these travesty of justice go on.

Please note this update is based on documents as intimated and understood by the family from NHS England itself. Supportive documentation is available and NHS England has 'no view' regarding the contractual breaches of any GP's in this way.

 

 

So what DID the GP say on this care?

Take a look at the letter sent and the reply and it's pretty easy to see where the problem lay regarding the NHS 'care' that Patricia received from these GP's

Below is a copy of the letter sent to the GP's that listed out the appalling situation as understood at the date of the letter to them:

Trent Vale Medical Practice
876 London Rd
Trent Vale
Stoke on Trent,
Staffordshire
ST4 5NX

Doctors among others:- Partner: Dr Amrik Jheeta. Partner: Dr Mark Welton.

Without Prejudice

Sirs,

Firstly please find enc. Documentation that authorizes me to act on behalf of my sister Patricia Ann Whitehouse in all respects of her medical records and legal representation.
I am writing to you regarding my sister Patricia Ann Whitehouse and her visits to your surgery between 29th June 2016 and 24th October 2016. Hospital number XXXXXX. I formally request a copy of ALL medical records pertaining to my sister that is within your possession. If there is a charge then I will of course pay for those and I can be contacted on XXXXXXXXXX  during working hours (9:00 to 17:30) Monday to Friday or on my mobile phone on XXXXXXXXX  so that I can pay any costs you might want for the medical records.


Your organization will be aware of the current position regarding my sister’s health and the diagnosis of lung and spinal cancer diagnosed at the Royal Stoke University Hospital on Sunday 6th November 2016. However, my sister came to you substantially earlier when she first had symptoms as follows:

Wednesday 29th June 2016:
Pat Experienced vivid red, white and blue flashing colours in her left eye in a grid like formation.

Wednesday 6th July 2016:
Pat Experienced vivid white, yellow and green flashing colours in the right eye in a grid formation.

Friday 8th July 2016:
Pat Rang GP Surgery about the flashing lights and they said to ring back Monday 11th July

Monday 11th July 2016:
Pat rang GP and made an appointment at 10am, saw GP about the flashing lights and the doctor (female) said she needs to speak to other doctors about this condition.

Tuesday 12th July 2016:
The doctor called pat at home and requested that she go for a cat scan.

Tuesday 19th July 2016: @2:40pm
Pat went for cat-scan on her head.

Sunday 7th August 2016:
Pat noticed pain in her back for the first time.

Wednesday 15th August 2016:
Pat had further considerable back ache.

Saturday 27th August 2016:
Pat had more back pain thought it was due to bending.

Wednesday 7th September 2016:
Pat started with really bad back pain.

Friday 9th September 2016: @9:50am
Pat went to the doctor’s practice for the first time to talk about her substantial back pain. Pat saw practice nurse Lynn and Lynn gave Pat a three day course of antibiotics (200mg) because she thought Pat may have a bladder infection.

Thursday 15th September 2016:
Pat went to the doctors again and gave a urine sample and received another course of antibiotics.

Saturday 17th September 2016:
Pat had really sharp pain in back, called out of hour’s doctors and was asked to go down at 8:20pm.

Monday 19th September 2016:
Pat saw Dr Jheeta at the GP surgery and he said Pat has got a ‘misaligned spine’ which is causing the pain. The doctor did not offer any other diagnostic procedure.

Tuesday 20th September 2016:
Pat did some exercises that the doctor had asked her to perform and her back went into spasm, the pain killers were not helping with pain relief in any way.

Monday 3rd October 2016:
Pat called for an emergency appointment and was asked to ‘go down to the GP surgery’ to see Dr Jheeta at 3:10pm. Pat went down with her neighbour/friend Pat Smith and son Chris Whitehouse. The doctor performed a back examination once again and continued to say that it was because of a ‘misaligned spine’. The doctor did not offer ANY other further diagnostic procedures.

Wednesday 5th October 2016:
Pat rang the GP surgery about being prescribed with Diazepam, Dr Mark Welton prescribed Oramorph. Once again no other diagnostic procedure was offered.

Pat had to go to the A&E department on 13th October 2016 because her pain continued to get worse.

Monday 17th October 2016:
Pat went to see the Physiotherapist at Fenton clinic. The physiotherapist tried some exercises with Pat but he advised that he was unable to treat her as she is in too much pain and suggested going back to the GP as something was not right.

Monday 24th October 2016:
Pat called GP surgery for a sick note and more medication, the Dr asked to see her. Pat's neighbour Pat Smith and son Chris Whitehouse once again went with her to see Dr Jheeta. The doctor wrote a sick note and a prescription for her. Chris Whitehouse proceeded to ask about getting Pat in for an MRI scan as soon as possible and Pat Smith also suggested this. Dr Jheeta explained that he was only able to move it forward as an emergency MRI which will still take a couple of weeks.

Dr Jheeta said that the Doctor A&E should have been carried out on Pat when she went to Accident and Emergency the first time on October 13th 2016. However they did not and Dr Jheeta or other doctors at the practice offered any other diagnostic procedures before that date.

However, throughout the visits to your organization the diagnosis was deemed to be a ‘misaligned spine’. This was a wrongful diagnosis. It is also noted that Pat was not sent for even an X-ray to check the incredible pain that she was suffering while under your care.

That wrongful diagnosis added many weeks that allowed the cancer to spread, causing untold damage (as later diagnosed by others) and the likely-hood of other problems.

In fact, as I write, Pat is now under the supervision of the Royal Stoke University Hospital and is now paralyzed from her waist down and cannot walk.

Because of this wrongful diagnosis by your organization it is now extremely unlikely that Pat will regain ANY ability to ever walk again and because of that problem the hospital has said very clearly that there is now really only palliative care left as ANY option for my sister’s survival which is likely to be just months. Your wrongful diagnosis has cut short Pat’s life to just a few months, whereas had the cancer been correctly diagnosed properly in the first place by your organization then Pat my sister might well have had a fighting chance to survive.

I really do not want our complaint to end up being legal (but if it has to it will) and acting on behalf of my sister Patricia Ann Whitehouse I would prefer that you accept that in fact your organization/doctors/partnership did indeed wrongfully diagnose my sisters condition for months. I believe that you should try and compensate her for the short time she has left while she is still alive by way of improved care at the expense of your organization paid for until she is no longer with us.

Failure to accept liability will cause me to consider moving forward legally against you and others involved in wrongful diagnosis as far as is necessary to ensure the interests of my sister are fully upheld and the wrongful diagnosis issues are brought to task in this matter.

I require a response letter declaring exactly what you are going to do about this incredibly poor misdiagnosis and how you are prepared to help my sister further as soon as you are able..

Letter concluded...

 

What was the 'response' from the GP's?

Here is the response in full. Bear in mind that subsequently this letter was treated as an 'investigation' and then NHS England declined to proceed as they then had no powers to do so. It seems that these GP's were well versed in how to stop investigations by their own paymaster - NHS England. Here is the GP's response:

 

They basically accepted no blame in the matter. They said 'An urgent referral was made to the musculoskeletal spinal service on 25th October 2016. Local referral pathways require us to refer to this service if, after physiotherapy, there is no improvement in patients conditions.' Unfortunately for the GP's  that MRI was instigated at the insistence of Christopher Whitehouse - Patricia's son!  In fact this statement was witnessed by others in the surgery and the family has a written statement to that effect confirming what went on. These GP's did NOT instigate that action of the MRI scan. They seem to be missing something... like the truth.

These GP's continued in their document:

'Cases like this are extremely rare. If any disease is present in the soft tissues, bones or liver then blood markers are often abnormal. All blood tests carried out by the practice were reported as normal. Examination of the chest on 3rd October 2016 also revealed her lungs to be clear and Mrs. Whitehouse did not complain of any symptoms that would alert the practice to a more serious diagnosis at this time.' quote. So Patricia was completely clear of cancer while these GP's 'cared' for her? poppycock.

These same GP's suggested that Pat had 'back problems since 2006... so? That was ten years before. They suggest 'it's hard to diagnose'? It is, especially when the doctor declines to get either x-ray or MRI for someone who ended up 'living of corn flakes in their living room' because of these GP's inaction. They also suggest that Pat's chest was 'clear' on October 3rd. Hmmm that's why Patricia had a sizeable CANCER in her lungs and spine just a few weeks later. It seems that there are so many 'excuses' involved in the whole document that this writer could be writing on this page for weeks. But we'll save that for later.

These GP's then refer the writer to the Ombudsman to complain as their 'answer' to the complaint. The family will be complaining and maybe much more.  The document that the GP's sent back where it is implicit in the writers view that indeed they seemed to forget some of the reality of this case, trying to twist thing's around including 'back ache in 2006' which was entirely irrelevant and indeed they seem to not accept that it was the family that insisted on the MRI scan and NOT the GP's.  It seems that patients can get this level of 'care' where the GP's in their own words try and suggest that anything except themselves could carry 'blame'. The whole document as received is a revelation and there are other documents in the possession of the family that show that these GP's have bad memories.

And remember, these are the same GP's that scuppered the NHS England investigation... nice.

There is no doubt that this case will continue much further. If only these people would accept that their 'care' was less than perfect the whole case could be easily resolved, but with the approach of these people at this time then it is likely that there is some way to go.

 

All content on this website was authorised by Pat Whitehouse to be published in full before her tragic death and are Patricia's opinion as related to relatives. E&OE
Subsequent documentation shown is factually the submission and response. All documentation is (c) A B Mckenzie 2016-17. All Rights Reserved.