Grandmother battling breast cancer hits out at 'appalling' treatment after delayed operations - The Leamington Observer

Grandmother battling breast cancer hits out at 'appalling' treatment after delayed operations

Leamington Editorial 3rd Oct, 2018   0

A GRANDMOTHER battling breast cancer for the third time has hit out at the ‘appalling’ treatment she is receiving – after waiting months for an operation which has been cancelled twice.

Lynne Shufflebotham from Warwick discovered she had cancer in March.

Since then the 66-year-old has had a number of appointments, scans, tests and two cancelled operations – along with one ‘expected operation’ date which never materialised, at University Hospital Coventry (UHCW) and Warwick Hospital.

The retired mum-of-two says her treatment has been slow and that she is still awaiting an operation to remove the cancer.

Lynne told the Observer: “In the past – 23 and 16 years ago when I last had cancer – the treatment was good. I don’t remember having the wait between appointments I had this time. In my opinion the NHS is much worse than it used to be.

“I have found communication between UHCW and Warwick slow and archaic – the results of one scan hadn’t been received by Warwick by the time I had an appointment and I feel the operation I am waiting for could have been decided upon from a scan I had in April.

“I can’t say I am unhappy with the decision for treatment that has been finally made, but it has taken so long to come to a conclusion.”

Lynne has now lodged a complaint with UHCW – where most of her care has been based – which she says breached NHS guidelines of commencing treatment within 62 days.

A UHCW spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to Mrs Shufflebotham for her experience.

“As a major cancer and surgical centre, we are able to treat patients with complex conditions, who require specialist care. We aim to offer surgery or treatment for all patients with cancer as quickly as possible, and are working to reduce waiting times for patients to see our specialists.

“We are looking into the issues that Mrs Shufflebotham has raised, as well as ensuring she can receive the care she needs as soon as possible.”

She has not complained to Warwick Hospital, but figures for South Warwickshire Foundation Trust – which runs the Lakin Road site – recently revealed it was failing to hit the 62 day NHS cancer treatment target.

NHS guidelines say 85 per cent of patients should be treated a maximum of 62 days after being referred to the hospital by their GP.

But during July just 79 per cent at SWFT were. UHCW did reach the target.

Warwick Hospital say delays had been down to ‘technical issues’ meaning biopsy reports were not received promptly.

A spokeswoman said: “Over the last few months we have seen a large increase in the number of patients requiring treatment and complex testing. This combined with technical issues earlier in the year has unfortunately resulted in a small number of patients narrowly missing the 62 day referral to treatment target.

“Ensuring all cancer patients receive treatment within 62 days is a priority and we are working with partners at UHCW to improve referral pathways.”

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