QUEEN Alexandra Hospital is investigating a woman’s complaint over the length of time it took to diagnose her father with liver cancer.
Jennifer Parker-Lummis, 34, of Gosport, is upset about the time it took for her father Tony Parker, 68, of Rowner Lane in Gosport, to be diagnosed, leaving the family unprepared for his death on March 11.
Mrs Parker-Lummis says she is also unhappy about the treatment he received while on an oncology ward at the hospital before his diagnosis.
Her father had felt unwell in September and had gone on holiday to Turkey, hoping that he would feel better.
But after subsequent trips to his doctor he was admitted to QA’s medical assessment unit where they suspected either a chest infection, tuberculosis, asbestosis or pneumonia in October.
Further tests in mid-November discovered lesions on Mr Parker’s liver and his GP warned it might be cancer, with a further scan in mid-December.
However it was only on January 28 the diagnosis of liver cancer was confirmed.
The diagnosis came after a delayed biopsy, which chief executive Ursula Ward explains in an initial letter addressing the complaint, was due to Mr Parker lacking the capacity to consent after a mental assessment.
But his daughter says her mother should have been asked to consent and these delays meant they were unable to prepare for Mr Parker’s death.
She said: ‘That’s my main question, why did it take so long to diagnose him?
‘If he’d been better and we’d have known what was going to happen we could have done things with him.
‘But when we finally found out there was nothing we could do – he was so ill.’
Mr Parker’s wife Norma, 70, said: ‘He would still have died because he had cancer of the liver.
‘But he could have had a better life from when he was diagnosed.’
Mr Parker was twice admitted to the hospital.
But his daughter says he did not receive good enough care on an oncology ward.
They say he was left in a bed in a pool of his own urine, which soaked into his pillows.
The letter from Ms Ward, which mistakenly wished Mr Parker well in future treatment, said a number of issues had now been discussed with ward staff and changes made.
The hospital has met the family and agreed to arrange a panel of doctors and nurses involved in Mr Parker’s care so the family can ask more questions. It said it could not comment during the investigation.