Asons Solicitors Comment on Allegations against NHS Trust that “Failed Cancer Patient”

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After an enquiry by the Health Service Ombudsman, it has been discovered that a woman allegedly suffered serious failings in care and treatment by two NHS trusts.

More than anything, I hope the hospitals have learnt from their mistakes so this doesn’t happen to any other patients.

Debbie Westwick, a terminal breast cancer patient from Kent, has made accusations against two NHS trusts, complaining of alleged incorrect and delayed treatment. East Kent Hospitals NHS, and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS, have apologised for the instance of poor care, and they claim to be acting upon the recommendations made by the ombudsman (1).

Speaking on the incident, Suzanne Yates from Asons Medical Negligence Solicitors said:
“I find it terribly concerning that there were instances of alleged medical negligence evident in so many different stages of this patient's care. With breast cancer as advanced as Ms Westwick’s, efficient and timely treatment is imperative to her survival, and I fear these hospitals actions have damaged her chances.

"The stress she was subjected to must have been extremely difficult to deal with, especially during such a worrying time in her life. Here at Asons Solicitors, we often deal with cases of breast cancer misdiagnosis, so we understand how distressing receiving poor care, during this delicate time, can be.”

According to an article released by the BBC, the report found that there had been alleged medical errors concerning treatment plans, poor care provided by her multidisciplinary team, lack of attendance by consultants at meetings, and failures to resolve treatment disputes (1).

It has been documented by the deputy director of health investigations, Martin Pike that the poor standard of care she received was a “significant injustice”. Recommendations have also been made by Mr Pike for the two trusts involved, urging them to formally apologise to Ms Westwick, and address their failings in care (1).

According to the BBC, both NHS trusts have released statements, suggesting that they have made significant improvements to their breast cancer services, since the incident involving Ms Westwick (1).

Continuing to comment, Suzanne Yates said:
“Credit must be given to both NHS Trusts for admitting they provided Ms Westwick with sub-standard during her time with them both. Despite this, an apology will not undo the trauma she was forced to endure.

"More than anything, I hope the hospitals have learnt from their mistakes so this doesn’t happen to any other patients.”

Receiving delayed treatment, or a delay in cancer diagnosis that has led to unnecessary suffering could potentially be a form of medical negligence. If the trust involved is at fault, you could potentially be eligible for compensation. To find out more information on medical negligence, visit http://www.asons.co.uk or phone 01204 521 133 to speak to one of their medical negligence solicitors.

(1)    BBC News, Kent NHS trusts 'failed cancer patient Debbie Westwick', 26/09/2013
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-24288504

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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co.uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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Imran Akram
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since: 01/2013
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