Nottingham health trusts delay means woman's cancer now 'inoperable'

Radiotherapy generic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The woman's frequently agitated state means treatments like radiotherapy were difficult

A woman's cancer has been described as being "inoperable" following delays over her treatment, a judge said.

The mentally ill woman may have had skin cancer in 2018, but not until late 2019 did Nottinghamshire-based health trusts ask the courts to intervene.

In January, Mr Justice Hayden at the Court of Protection suggested they should have acted sooner.

Now the judge has been told the cancer has grown at "an astonishing rate" and treatment options are limited.

He said a specialist had "sadly concluded" that it was inoperable.

Image copyright Getty Images/Odd Anderson
Image caption The judge has asked for a new care plan to be put in place

A GP first raised the alarm in 2018 but it took until mid-2019 for her to be assessed as being unable to make decisions on her own treatment.

In December, Sherwood Forest Hospitals, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS trusts asked the courts to direct the next steps.

The Court of Protection is responsible for making decisions for people who lack the mental capacity to do so for themselves.

The judge ruled neither the woman, who is in her 70s, nor any of her family could not be identified.

Following a hearing in January Mr Justice Hayden approved a care plan put together by the trusts but said the delay was "simply a tragedy" and "profoundly troubling".

But now the disease's progression had left the woman in an "incredibly distressing" state and her daughter, who was also her carer, had suffered "distress and shock".

Mr Justice Hayden said a new care plan was needed and its review would be given priority.

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