Norfolk hospital apologises after cancer diagnosis was too late for patient

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A hospital has apologised and paid more than £1,000 in compensation after it failed to diagnose a patient's cancer soon enough.

James Paget Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (JPH) paid out £1,250 - and have developed an action plan to show how they have learned from the case.

The story was highlighted in the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's report which contained several cases of poor service from the NHS from the region.

Nick Oligbo, medical director of JPH, said plans had been put in place to ensure steps are taken to improve service to patients.

According to the report, the patient, known only as Mr G, was referred to the trust's pain team after being in constant pain.

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He was given different medications over the next four months but did not improve. Two months later Mr G went back into hospital where further tests were carried out.

He was then diagnosed with lung cancer which had spread to his bones, and he died about a month later.

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The Ombudsman found there were a number of occasions when a doctor should have seen Mr G, taken his full history, and arranged for an MRI scan.

This would have found the cancer earlier and meant Mr G would have been spared unnecessary pain and suffering, the Ombudsman said.

Mr Oligbo said: 'We have conducted a full investigation. We have already contacted the family to apologise fully as part of our response to the Ombudsman.'

In another case the East of England Ambulance Service Trust paid £350 and apologised to a mother who had to wait more than one hour for an ambulance shortly after giving birth.

The patient, known as Ms W, gave birth at home but began bleeding heavily later that day.

Her midwife called 999 at 7.47pm but the ambulance did not arrive until 9.03pm – one hour and 16 minutes later.

A paramedic in a rapid response vehicle was also dispatched and arrived at 8.51pm.

A trust spokesman said: 'Steps have been taken to address the call handling issues that contributed to the delay, including staff being made aware that the call should have been coded as a higher priority.

'A review was also ordered into the protocol when another health professional calls 999 for an ambulance.'

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