Misdiagnosed cancer

Visiting the accident and emergency department of the Royal Stoke University Hospital can be a trial as Pat Whitehouse found out to her detriment. On the 13th October 2016, Pat, after suffering allegedly for months at the hands of her doctors went to the accident and emergency department. Her back pain had become completely unbearable. After presenting to the A&E she was placed on a gurney for an EIGHT HOUR wait while the hospital did whatever they were doing. They did check on her asking if she was 'OK' a few times.

Once she was examined by a doctor, the doctor said that there was no 'acute pain' (but she was in severe agony). After his examination the doctor prescribed pain killers and sent Pat home. There was no x-ray, no MRI scan or anything else offered to her as any other investigatory procedure. Pat was advised to 'get some more pain killers from your GP'. She had no alternative but to leave.

The real problem

There was of course much more to it than a simple back pain. Pat could hardly move. After visiting the GP's again numerous times Pat could take no more. Pat, her son Christopher and ex-husband David decided to go to the accident and emergency department again at the Royal Stoke University Hospital to get further emergency investigation carried out.

On the 5th November 2016 Pat entered the A&E. Pat again complained that she 'could not handle the pain any longer' and eventually got to see a doctor. Once again the doctor carried out a physical examination of Pat. Believe it or not the doctor once again decided there was 'no acute pain' and was going to send Pat home without any further investigation whatsoever. It is hard to believe that this is how a professional hospital operates, but it is a fact as Pat related it.

The family was not accepting any more of this waffle and Christopher her son insisted that Pat had further investigations in to this extreme back pain. After Chris (a layman) instigated the x-ray the hospital finally buckled and agreed to do it. Thankfully. But this raises questions why on two occasions these doctors allegedly wrongfully diagnosed Pats problem.

When the x-ray came back the doctor said 'I can't see anything out of the ordinary here' but then he sent Pat for an CDU for further investigation at last. While Pat was in the CDU the doctors wanted the physiotherapists to take a look at Pat. Pat was again asked to get off the bed, but she could not. Pat could not do anything they asked. The physiotherapists finally decided something was wrong. So between the doctors and the physiotherapists an MRI scan was ordered.

Sunday 6th November

A doctor eventually came to see Pat at the CDU with the results of the MRI scan and two CAT scans. He reported that 'there is a cancerous tumor on the right hand lung and a further tumor on the spine'. Well fancy that!

It took the GP's and the doctors from 9th September 2016 to the 6th November 2016 for Pat to get a correct diagnosis of the real problems. Not a single doctor between those dates got the diagnosis right it appears! This matters because the late diagnosis of cancer might have contributed to paralysis of pats legs. And paralysis meant that hospitals and doctors would not be able to offer any treatment for Pat's cancer.

 

Why this matters

Spinal metastases can be painful and if not treated can lead to metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC); this is when the spinal metastases press 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 misdiagnosis. The doctors diagnosis were either wrong or maybe they just wanted the patient out of the hospital. Indeed had Christopher not intervened in this atrocious 'care' then Pat might well have returned home for another month of torture from the cancer in her lungs and on her spine. And waiting there for eight hours on hospital trolleys is an aberration of what care is all about.

Later after the cancer was diagnosed by the hospital and the paralysis of Pats legs was obvious just a few weeks or so later, 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 the GP's and other doctors alleged incorrect diagnosis that added substantial and critical time to Pat's diagnosis and treatment that those actions basically reduced Pat's life to a choice of either one month with treatment and likely death from septicemia or three months with no treatment.

You might say that's no choice... and you would be right.

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

 

Bradwell Hospital and it's involvement

But other hospitals were involved that Pat specifically talked about in her video such as Bradwell Hospital, Talke Road, Chesterton,Newcastle,Staffordshire,ST5 7NJ where Pat was sent after an operation on her spine which included the fitting of metal bars to try and repair her spinal column. Needless to say that this operation was also a very painful thing but successful at the time.

What happened at Bradwell Hospital?

Pat was sent to Bradwell hospital so that the hospital could carry out physiotherapy to help her to get mobile again after the spinal operation and then go home. Pat also said it seemed like the Royal Stoke University Hospital was in a rush to move her from the Newcastle hospital.

Once Pat was in Bradwell hospital and following a short while, the physiotherapists appeared. Pat often called them 'physical terrorists' as you can see on the video she made about her experience in these places. In any case, the physiotherapists set to work in MAKING Pat stand up and walk each and every day with what Pat called extensive physiotherapy. Pat complained to her family about this on a number of occasions about the pain.

In fact the writer visited Pat for the last time at Bradwell hospital and she just about made it to the toilet with great pain and a now very much shorter hobble as she walked. Later Pat said in her video that she had fallen over and was helped back to bed by a young nurse who did her best to help. In fact Pat described the young nurse as having real compassion, but the real question is how Pat was allowed to fall in the first place and in the case of the physiotherapists she had other far less favorable words.

Following this escapade, Pat became paralyzed and could not walk. She was declared a 'paraplegic' and then the Bradwell hospital decided that Pat should once again go back to the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Pat was transferred back shortly after.

 

Why this matters...

Once Pat became a paraplegic (paralyzed from the hips down) then the outcome of all this 'care' was probably set in stone.

Paraplegics and cancer treatment

Once you are declared a paraplegic unless something changes in that condition the chances are that it is very unlikely that you will get any treatment for the cancer in your body. During a meeting with a consultant the family asked if they could record the conversation and that was granted by the consultant - although later requests were denied. A section of the recording is available to listen to and you will quickly see that pats options for ANY further treatment were at best bleak and at worst none existent.

How anyone end up in this situation it is hard to envisage. Pat has always blamed the GP's for alleged misdiagnosis, the Royal Stoke University Hospital for being sent away at critical times and lack of following proper diagnostic procedures and of course the sorry state of affairs with Bradwell Hospital where Pat it appears ultimately suffered.

A paraplegic will typically not be offered any treatment, but if it is offered then the patient (as was Pat) will be advised not to have any treatment because treatment could bring on septicemia and kill the patient in probably a month. It was deemed that Pat should have no treatment because of her condition and that at best she might last for around three months.

The best way to put this all across is to listen to Pat in her own words about the hospitals involved.

 

Pat has authorised the release of all content on this website and it is from Pats own words.

 

But it's NOT all bad...

Patricia told me in her heartfelt video about the Heywood Hospital

What was it really like at the Heywood Hospital and the care Patricia was given?

Among all of the incredibly poor care that Patricia received there was just two places that stood out - he first was the Heywood Hospital.

Patricia told me directly (and it is on the video) that the Heywood hospital was incredibly caring, the staff were wonderful, the care exceptional and she was proud of that hospital and what it stood for. Patricia could not speak highly enough about that hospital throughout the time she was there.

Another place that Patricia said was marginally different was the oncology ward 201 at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Patricia describes that ward 'in the daytime' as being near enough as good as the Haywood hospital.... with one exception.

Indeed, Patricia confirms on the video that ward 201 at night was really not the place where anyone would ever want to be. he said that the staff were terrible and it was a horrendous place at night. 

 

Why this matters...

Simple... because in among all of the horrendous things that affected Patricia while in care and throughout her time under NHS supervision there were really only TWO places that she felt happy with... and one of those was not good in the night.

If you or your loved ones are ever in the position of being in this unfortunate position of being involved with the NHS where Patricia was taken care of at least you will have the opinion of someone who has been through it all from start to finish. There is NOTHING better than any decision based on being informed. There is no doubt that Patricia wanted to tell others about her experiences and this website reflects Patricia's opinions in ways that the writer could never do.

 

Pat has authorised the release of all content on this website and  it is from Pats own words.