A woman with terminal cancer wasn’t told until a week before her death – despite being diagnosed MONTHS before.
Beverley Smith was 63-years-old when she passed away last July, leaving behind her son, Ben.
She had been paralysed since a car crash in 1972 and last year went into hospital for a hip operation when a bone biopsy was taken.
The bone test showed that Beverley, from Truro, Cornwall, had terminal cancer – but it took months for the news to reach her or her son.
For the past six years, Ben was a full-time carer for his mother and said had Beverley known about her condition she would have wanted to be at home – not in hospital.
He said: “If we’d known she had cancer she could have come home for three months and we could have had that time together.”
Beverley had a bone biopsy taken during an operation at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon, on 14 March 2018.
She also received treatment at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, Cornwall.
But the family weren’t told about the diagnosis until July 11, and six days later a CT scan revealed how serious it was.
Ben continued: “I was told that mum’s cancer was terminal and nothing could be done.
“I said I would like to take her home as she didn’t want to die in hospital.”
Ben took his mother home on Friday, July 20, but she died two days later.
He continued: “If we had known she had cancer they wouldn’t have had to do all the invasive treatments, the injections, blood tests every day – twice a day sometimes.
“She never had the opportunity to say the things she would like to have said to my boys, her grandsons.
“The funeral arrangements and financial decisions she could have put in place, and friends and family could have visited her before she died.”
Derriford and the Royal Cornwall Hospitals said the care she received was “below the trust’s expectations”.
In a joint statement, RCHT and Derriford said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for the distress that Mrs Smith’s family have been caused.
“We are sorry that the care Mrs Smith received was below both her family’s and the Trust’s expectations.
“We know that communication can be a challenge with other health care providers and we are working together to ensure that we get this right every time for our patients.”