I FOUND it distressing to read the article ‘Trust staff praised for their cancer care’ (News Post Leader, August).
That the trust should join with MP Ronnie Campbell in politicising cancer patients in such a way is highly insensitive, deeply upsetting and morally reprehensible.
From my own experiences I cannot wholeheartedly agree with what the article says, especially with the excessively self-congratulatory style of the rhetoric.
A survey of cancer patients cannot include those who have died, and it is a shame that the trust did not feel able to acknowledge this and express their condolences in some sensitive way. Their only voice is through their relatives. Were they consulted?
I wasn’t surveyed following the death of my wife from cancer at Wansbeck General Hospital earlier this year, and I certainly have something to contribute. However, I cannot go into details because I have only just delivered my comments to Mr Mackey and I have to give him time to respond.
What I can say is that earlier this year I had correspondence with the trust, raising some general concerns about the hospital.
Despite this taking from February 21 to June 6, I was not satisfied with the responses.
When I pressed them to give straight answers to specific questions I got no reply and I know they got my letter. That is certainly not ‘going the extra mile’.
My letters, published on March 8, 2012, and June 28, 2012, about smoking at the hospital and parking for the relatives of terminally ill patients, also demonstrate that the trust does not always ‘go the extra mile’.
I do not want to appear too negative, but I think there has to be some balance.
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