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Warrington cancer patient died after "unacceptable delay'

Warrington Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust apologised for "poor care"

Serious failings have been found at an NHS trust which performed "unacceptably delayed" and unnecessary surgery on a bladder cancer patient.

Denis Harrison, 62, died in August 2017 after waiting six months for surgery at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) said the trust had "failed to act with any urgency".

Mr Harrison's wife said the couple faced "severe mental anguish" waiting.

She added: "I complained to the ombudsman because I don't want anybody else to go through what my husband had to endure."

Surgery was stopped

Mr Harrison, from Warrington, was referred to the trust with urgent suspected cancer in October 2016 and diagnosed the same month.

He should have been treated by no later than 11 February 2017, according to NHS guidelines.

When he went to hospital with a swollen leg in March, staff failed to carry out a scan which would have shown that his cancer had spread.

He was operated on in April, but the surgery was stopped when it was found the cancer had spread.

'Poor care'

The PHSO said it was not possible to know whether earlier surgery would have saved his life, but he "was not given the best possible chance of survival".

It recommended paying Mrs Harrison £3,000 in light of the anxiety she suffered.

Ombudsman Rob Behrens said: "The trust knew Mr Harrison's cancer was growing and could be treatable, but they failed to act with any urgency and in line with clear NHS guidelines. It is essential they learn from this case."

Kimberley Salmon Jamieson, chief nurse at Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust, accepted the report's findings and apologised for the "poor care".

Actions had been taken to improve services, she added.

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