Cancer sufferer, 69, ‘shoved in corner for 16 hours’ at Whittington A&E
- Credit: Archant
A 69-year-old man with stage 3 cancer has claimed he was “shoved in a corner” of A&E for 16 hours after being rushed to hospital with open wounds.
Dad-of-three and lifelong music promoter Barry Marshall-Everitt has an extremely rare form of cancer in his urethra.
He was brought to the Whittington Hospital – despite begging to be taken to his regular cancer doctors at UCLH – on Wednesday last week with blood poisoning. He said he arrived at about 3pm but wasn’t seen until 6am.
Mr Marshall-Everitt said: “It’s not the best thing for a cancer patient to be shoved in a corner for 16 hours,” adding that he also has a pacemaker since suffering from heart failure seven years ago.
“It was a turmoil – nobody had time for me, nobody paid me any attention. The first thing I told them was I’ve got serious cancer.”
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But a spokeswoman for the hospital appeared to reject the claim, saying in a statement that there have been “no patients waiting for 16 hours on trolleys”. The Gazette has requested clarity on the apparent contradiction.
Mr Marshall-Everitt, of Harold Road, Crouch End, said he “got so bad” during his wait that staff were forced to hook him up to oxygen for resuscitation.
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“After that they put me in a little room and said, ‘This is where you’re staying tonight’. I couldn’t believe it.”
When he was finally given a bed, Mr Marshall-Everitt said he awoke to a room full of police – put there to guard the patient next to him.
“I wondered what I’d done wrong,” he said. “But I certainly had the best security in town.”
Wife Bex said the experience was “terrible”, adding: “He’s now got MRSA and because of that he can’t do any chemotherapy.
“The NHS is reactive – they never try preventing. He’s being given bandages and painkillers for cancer.”
Now Mr Marshall-Everitt, whose career includes a stint at sea on pirate radio, managing a T Rex tour and booking Bob Dylan – is hoping to raise £200,000 for treatment in New York City.
“I’d been told it was incurable, but at 3am on New Year’s Day I saw a news bulletin about the first ever man to be cured,” he said. “I’ll never give up.”
THE WHITTINGTON’S RESPONSE
A spokeswoman for the Whittington said the hospital “takes patient safety and treatment very seriously” and “follows nationally agreed NHS protocols for triage of all patients.”
She added: “The trust has robust plans in place to manage peaks in A&E demand and additional hospital bed capacity has been put into place for the winter months of 2017.
“Whittington Health is currently managing unprecedented high demand in its A&E department and this can result in delays for admission to the hospital for a small number of patients.”
But in direct contradiction to the claims made by Mr Marshall-Everitt, she also said: “There have been no cases of MRSA acquired in the hospital by any patient in the month of January and there have been no patients waiting for 16 hours on trolleys.”
She added: “Whittington Health patients receive high quality and safe care by our dedicated and hardworking consultants, doctors and nurses.
“Whittington health would like to apologise for any delays for admittance to a ward in the hospital during this extremely busy winter period.
“Individual patients who would like to feedback to Whittington Health on their experience are encouraged to contact our patient advice and complaint service who will trigger an investigation to establish the facts. A report can then be shared with the patient to respond to concerns.”