Family of Harold Park man who waited six months for cancer treatment want answers after death
11:31 02 January 2014
The family of a man who died just weeks after a cancer operation at Queen’s Hospital want to know why he waited six months for treatment.
Norman Pascall, 81, died at home in Harold Park in October of bowel cancer.
He was diagnosed with the illness in February, according to relatives, but did not have an operation until August.
The surgery was scheduled in July but cancelled at the last minute.
Shortly after coming out of hospital, Mr Pascall told the Recorder: “I was outside the operating theatre on a stretcher when they told me the surgeon wasn’t available.
“Then I had to wait another month – surely there must have been a back-up.”
He never recovered from the operation, which left him with difficulties eating.
Nephew David Horwood said: “One minute he had two years to live, then it was six months and he didn’t even last that.
“The operation was a big one - he honestly wished he’d never had it.
“He was so ill that he was saying at the end he wanted to die.”
Mr Pascall had drafted complaint letters to the hospital about the delays to his operation but they were never sent before he died.
Mr Horwood said: “He felt they didn’t react after he was diagnosed – they took months to get him into hospital.
“From the diagnosis to the actual treatment it took too long.”
A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) said Mr Pascall’s operation was cancelled because of a shortage of intensive care beds but rebooked “as soon as possible”.
She added: “Mr Pascall’s cancer was sadly very advanced, and this short delay in surgery would have had no impact whatsoever on the eventual outcome.
“We would be more than happy to meet with Mr Pascall’s family to discuss any concerns they may have.”
The trust did not wish to address the wait for treatment.
BHRUT has been put into special measures after a Care Quality Inspection at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, found “systematic failings”.