Halton man with 'months to live' wants apology from Morecambe Bay hospitals trust over 'urology errors'
A retired health professional with terminal cancer says he is waiting for answers from Morecambe Bay hospitals trust after he claims a series of errors shortened his life expectancy.
Tim Snashall says he has "months to live" after being diagnosed with incurable metastatic kidney cancer and prostate cancer.
And he says his condition would be at least six months less advanced if a scan had been carried out when it should have been.
Mr Snashall says poor communication and a "very serious mistake" in the six-month delay of a scan, along with an apparent misdiagnosis which could have led to the wrong cancer treatment, are among the issues he has raised with the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.
It follows an appointment with a urology doctor in July 2019 over concerns that his prostate cancer had recurred.
The oncologist ordered a node biopsy after scans taken in August 2020 raised concerns over multiple lymph nodes in his abdomen, pelvis and neck, and a possible lesion in his liver.
Mr Snashall was then diagnosed with metastatic renal cancer, a life limiting incurable condition.
In October and November 2020 Mr Snashall submitted complaints about a six-month delay in getting his follow-up CT scan.
"I am lucky that the misdiagnosis was quickly discovered, or the renal cancer would not be now being treated," the 70-year-old said.
"I want them to admit publicly that they have made mistakes and they have been making them for years. I want the trust to be denounced for what they are doing, not just for me but for all the other people that don't complain or don't realise what's going on."
Mr Snashall, who was also a lecturer in nursing at Salford University for 13 years, said he is still awaiting answers from the trust about his care.
He has submitted a complaint to the Health Services Ombudsman Service, and is also awaiting publication of an external independent inquiry carried out by Niche Health.
He hopes his story will raise awareness of what he believes are continued issues within the trust's urology department, which were initially highlighted by former NHS consultant urologist Peter Duffy, who exposed problems within the department and went on to write a book about his whistleblowing.
Mr Duffy left UHMBT in 2016 after raising concerns about three of his colleagues, Ashutosh Jain, Kavinder Madhra and Muhammad Naseem. He now works on the Isle of Man following an employment tribunal.
We reported in 2019 how an NHS regulator carried out an external review after concerns dating back to 2001 were raised by patients, families and clinicians following a series of mistakes by the three consultants.
Clinical errors made by the consultants contributed to the deaths of two patients, including Peter Read from Morecambe, and UHMBT bosses later apologised to the families and patients affected by the mistakes made.
In February the hospital trust confirmed that Mr Jain no longer works for UHMBT, while Mr Madhra left the trust in 2018. Mr Naseem continues to work for UHMBT and remains the clinical lead of the urology department.
"Following these events I have absolutely no trust in the urology department to manage my care in an appropriate or reliable fashion," Mr Snashall said.
"I am now facing a foreseeable death in the near future. I have been offered “apologies”, but this is a word that is easy to write and for me has no meaning or consolation. There are no amends for what happened to me."
Dr Shahedal Bari, medical director for UHMBT, said: "We wish to say how very sorry we are to Mr Snashall for the delays in responding to his complaint and we have now responded to him directly.
"We sympathise hugely with Mr Snashall's situation and we are working to improve timeliness of responses to complaints as we recognise the strain and stress these delays cause to our patients.
"Although it is disappointing to receive this, we do welcome feedback in the form of a complaint as these offer us the opportunity to learn from a patient's experience and how we may improve the services we provide.
"There is currently an independent and external investigation into our urology service being carried out by Niche Health and Care Consulting and we are expecting that report to be published in the autumn."