Lost’ patient is big supporter

EVEN an elderly cancer patient who says she was lost in the hospital for four days remains an ardent and committed supporter of Hinchingbrooke. Frances Wagstaffe, 87, who represented Ramsey on Huntingdonshire District Council for 29 years until 2004, w

EVEN an elderly cancer patient who says she was "lost" in the hospital for four days remains an ardent and committed supporter of Hinchingbrooke.

Frances Wagstaffe, 87, who represented Ramsey on Huntingdonshire District Council for 29 years until 2004, was furious when she saw an account of her ordeal in a national newspaper on Monday.

"There was virtually nothing right about the article," she said. "When I got to the hospital one Saturday evening in February, there were about 25 ambulances there and they were working like mad. Yet I had a doctor and nurses with me there for four hours."

Yet for four days after she was admitted because of her osteoporosis she did not see another doctor.


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"It was wrong but they wrote and apologised profusely. I accepted that and moved on. They way they are looking after me now is marvellous. And the Woodlands Centre (cancer treatment) is wonderful. I'm progressing.

"I'm a huge supporter of the hospital, and I'm vice-president of cancer and keyhole surgery. The only thing I complained about was that they didn't send the doctor for four days. They just lost me in the system.

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"Nobody knew I was there. Otherwise they've been marvellous to me."

Mrs Wagstaffe, who is also vice-president of Age Concern Cambridgeshire, fears losing cancer treatment to Addenbrooke's.

"I had a neighbour who was 90 years old. She got up at 6am and got to Addenbrooke's for her appointment at five past nine. But she didn't get home again until six in the evening.

"They must never close this hospital. They can't do enough for me - and not only for me."

A hospital spokesman said: "We were very sorry this happened and we learned from the mistake.

"It's very encouraging that a patient accepted our apology and has not let one unfortunate experience influence her overall view of the hospital.

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