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Royal United Hospital Bath
Royal United Hospital Bath Medical Negligence

Royal United Hospital Bath Website Launched

A woman from Bath who felt disappointed by her treatment at the Royal United Hospital has set up a website to allow others to share their experiences.

Jackie Parfitt, 62, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2006. She decided to have the lump removed at a private clinic, but continued having radiotherapy treatment at the RUH until January 2007. Towards the end of her treatment she developed painful infected sores, but was neither prescribed medication nor given a medical examination.

Upon being recalled 18 months later for a check up at the RUH, she told the oncologist of a swelling in her breast bone and regular twinges of pain, but was nevertheless told there was no reoccurance of the cancer.

Concerned by the increasing amount of pain she was in, Mrs Parfitt contacted the Breast Unit, which discovered the cancer had in fact spread to her lungs, liver and bones. Despite this distressing news, Mrs Parfitt was told she would have to wait a few weeks until her next appointment, as the oncologist was on holiday.

Commenting on her emotions at this time, Mrs Parfitt said: "I felt totally alone, let down by the doctors, and with no idea what to do next. This was one of the most frightening times of my life and I honestly believed I was going to die."

Feeling isolated, scared, and in a great deal of discomfort, Mrs Parfitt decided to take matters into her own hands. She contacted Dorothy House Hospice for advice, set herself up with a Macmillan nurse, and transferred her treatment to the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Mrs Parfitt's experience encouraged her to set up a website, www.ruhwatch.com, where others could voice their concerns and experiences regarding the RUH.

Currently there are two other cases published on the website that of a woman upset by her treatment during a colonoscopy, and a breast cancer patient whose operation was cancelled three times.

The website also provides advice on how to change your hospital and GP surgery, and a message board to post comments.

Francesca Thompson, RUH director of nursing, says she is disappointed by the creation of the website, stating: "We encourage anyone who has a comment or concern about the hospital or their treatment not to place potentially confidential and personal information on it."

"We would ask they contact our complaints manager either by telephone of email where their concerns will be dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner."

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