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Surgery ‘told terminally-ill Halstead man he was in the clear’
A MAN diagnosed with aggressive terminal cancer claims his GP’s receptionist wrongly told him he was in the clear.
The phone call was one of a series of blunders Diane Bailey says she and her husband, Simon, have suffered in the eight weeks since he was first diagnosed with lung cancer.
Mr Bailey, 43, has been given two months to live by doctors at Colchester General Hospital.
The first blunder came when news of the seriousness of his condition was inadvertently broken to the couple via a letter, addressed to his GP, but mistakenly sent to their home in Cherry Tree Close, Halstead.
Mrs Bailey, 48, said: “We got a letter from one doctor to another, discussing the fact Simon had multiple tumours. It should have been sent to the GP, but it it came to me.
“It discussed lung cancer and bowel cancer. We knew he had cancer, but didn’t know he had bowel cancer. When I opened the letter my husband was next to me.”
A week later, she received a phone call from the Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery, their Halstead GP practice, with encouraging news – which turned out to be tragically wrong.
Mrs Bailey said: “The receptionist’s exact words were: ‘It is all clear. There is nothing to worry about’.
“We were just leaving the house to see the kidney surgeon. We went to the hospital and the first thing we asked the surgeon was, ‘what the hell is going on?’
“We told him we had just had a phone call to say he had had the all-clear and the surgeon couldn’t believe it.”
Mrs Bailey also claims her husband’s GP was supposed to have asked a surgeon at the hospital for a CT scan.
At the hospital, it emerged no scan had been ordered.
Mr Bailey is being treated in hospital, but hopes Macmillan nurses will be able to care for him at home during his final days.
A hospital trust spokesman said: “We appreciate it is an extremely difficult time for Mrs Bailey and her husband, but would urge her to contact us with the details we require before we can start to investigate.
“In the meantime, the trust remains fully committed to providing her husband with first-class care.”
The Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery declined to comment, citing patient confidentiality.