Oncology services in HOSPITALS IN CORK

Hallo everyone, Daisies I really hope you are doing okay at this stage and recovering from the trauma of Monday. Just to let you know that I have received an email from Minister for Health and he was referring the matter of oncology shortages to Hse patient Advocate. Then today got a lovely email from admin in CUH acknowledging the shortages of staff in oncology and that steps had been taken to improve the situation shortly. I sent email back thanking her for her prompt reply. I explained how difficult it is when you are first on treatment and you have dreadful nausea that you need to contact an oncology team member. I also explained what did happen in the past, the Reg would ring a new script through to the local chemist. I told her that this was important especially when newly diagnosed. I have praised the present oncologist and the oncology staff to re enforce that I dont have an issue with them. I told her that really it wasnt helpful asking an oncology patient to attend a and e where they are open to infection. I pointed out that I understood a new oncology unit was to be built in CUH and that services would probably improve then but asked her what happens meantime. The Prof will think I am off on another rant but maybe also it is good for patients to complain to improve the standards for the consultants and doctors, ourselves and new patients coming along. Daisies my father had a similar saying as you mentioned during the week" the dumb parson looses his benefit"

13 Replies

  • Hi Suzuki, I was very lucky in the hospital where I received my chemo as when the Oncology day ward was closed I had access to the Oncology in ward at all other times thankfully I did not need it but it was good to know it was there if needed . I dont know it things have changed over the last 20 months since I finished my treatment but hopefully its the same. Kittie

  • Kittie, my oncology unit is just fab but I feel our onc is really under stress because there are no junior doctors available on his team to help him out. The service of contacting whoever was on duty in oncology was withdrawn when he was on holidays during the summer without his knowledge. He is just a fantastic man but is run off his feet. I was chatting earlier on fb to a lady from Kerry who has had bowel surgery after practically forcing the issue. She has complications with her wound and is getting rt. Her wound plays up at the weekends for some reason and this weekend again and she is coming to see the consultant not my guy on Monday. She rang the hospital today and was told there was no one there to advise her. I suppose she can always call care doc again he came this morning dressed the wound and she was fine for ten minutes and then she had trouble again. She is wondering how to get through until Monday and travel to Cork in that condition. I think our hospitals had to close wards etc because the pay and conditions no longer appeal to our medical students and they are leaving the country rather than work here. Things have got bad since I first started this journey.

  • Suzuki. I had a similar response - which is great. I have reached the point that I don't care, sometimes, if people think I complain too much, at times it is necessary to do so. I am not angry about the cancer or prognosis but when we know that something else should be done to ease the horrible journey & sickness, it is only correct and right to get it out in the public area.

    Know your situation is different. as I do have access to a doctor and medical unit at all times. But your fb chat with someone else - it is true , that we always get sick at weekends and when our GPs are not available.

    Had a bad few days - despite the good news - think I got a chill/virus as sore throat, hacking cough and pains everywhere, so much so that I didn't even take my usual meds, just went to bed. Thankfully, by lunchtime today, I began to feel a bit better. So up now and going to make some dinner !!! hoping I will eat it.

    I know that the cutbacks in health have affected all sections of services - and I do sympathise with consultants who have no replacements when they go on holidays. It must be tough on them also knowing their patients are left without backup.

    Anyway - my tree is up, ( a small one though) and I finally have my wreath outside the house - next will be the garlands for the fireplace and that is it - done, dusted!!!! ( somewhat). Now I must get some rest so that I can enjoy the festivities.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi all.Have not logged in in a while but agree with everything you say about standard of care in Oncology.Have just been informed once again that I will have to wait over three weeks to start my chemo due to waiting list to start chemo and chaotic situation of actually ordering the drugs.God bless the oncologist and staff as they are wonderful but this standard of care is unacceptable in this day and age.These delays are affecting patient health. Best wishes for 2015 .

  • Hi Marn, sorry to hear you are going back on treatment and have to wait. I suppose there is a back log due to the Xmas break into the bargain. I was due Avastin last week but it was changed to tomorrow because of the holidays. I think as well the nurses are invited to take unpaid leave during school holidays. In the South where I go, chemo days are chaotic, the nurses are run off their feet. I have Avastin on Thurs as its the only day they do this and my obs have to be done before twelve as the chemo is only made up if obs and urine are okay. They introduced this system as when the chemo was pre ready, some patients may find their bloods down and so it was destroyed because they tailor the meds for each patient according to weight etc as you probably know, so they are trying to cut wastage. It is frustrating for you but try and take a break or a day out before your start treatment to take your mind off it all. I agree the oncologist here is great and his junior consultants seem few and far between. I never see a doctor around when I am there. The onc himself takes all the public patients in the clinic so there is a shortage. I agree it is unaceptable in this day and age. The Health service is getting worse and worse and this poor man is run off his feet, next he will have a heart attack with his workload.

  • Marn, firstly am so sorry to read you are going back on the "cocktail round", but it was worse to read about the delay put on your start. I agree with you that staff are great but the overall cutbacks/forced holidays/ unpaid leave which affects the patients is disgraceful.

    I know you have a lot to face but this might be another issue to e-email and flag with our Minister of Health .... his e-mail address is available on the Gov website... but if you want one of us to make the complaint, do let us know.

    So best wishes for when you do start and hopefully all will be OK.

    Regards and best wishes for 2015


  • Hi Daisies .thanks so much for your kind words. I will e-mail the Minister of Health myself and would be delighted to highlight the situation because as I said this is the second time this has happened to me.We are forced to sit around and wait for chemo while this dreadful disease continues to grow and spread.This health service is indeed disgraceful.Wishing you all the best for 2015.

  • Hallo Daisies, I am glad you also got a response, it is only by speaking out that things will improve. The doctors and consultants seem to be rendered powerless by the HSE. I did start on the radiology reception about three years ago. I was sent as a public patient and attended as a public patient. Due to some mix up, I

  • sorry my message went haywire whatever I did, too a choc overload haha. I ended up getting an apt to go back to consultant privately. When I went to get this changed, I was told, I had to ring consultants private secretary to apologise and cancel apt before they would give me an apt in the clinic. I did this like an idiot and neither were very nice about it and it wasnt my fault. So I complained to the Admin of that Unit. He apologised and said it should never had happened, that the rt and onocolgy unit secretaries were never meant to select patients for the private consultant. I had been referred by the public clinic in the South therefore I was a public patient, He agreed with me that patients coming into this unit are vunerable and he told me he would ensure it never happened again, It wasnt nice of the secretary of the dept to give out and and make me apologise and he would speak to her. So it is important to speak up and try and make life easier for the next patient coming along and ourselves as well. You had a bad few days but I hope you had some dinner and that every day you will have more energy. There is a flu bug doing its rounds anyway. Take care Joan

  • Hello. Just to update you on the correspondence to Leo Varadker. I had another reply in relation to my concerns about cancer patients having to access CUH via A&E. My letter has been forwarded on to HSE in Cork - so I await a reply from them. As you know, while I don't have to deal with this issue myself, I can understand the concerns of yourself and others in respect of that issue.

    Maybe, with the complaints and queries - this can be changed, hopefully.

    Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year and that all is well with you


  • Hi Daisies, that is a similar reply to what I got and then I got an email from some admin in CUH saying that the matter of the juniors doctors was being resolved and she would contact me again to update me but so far nothing. Maybe January is the the beginning of a new rotation for junior docs and they are hoping it can be glossed over this way. No we are right, we need to make things better for others, we know how awful we can feel but new patients must really get upset if they fall ill at night. Someone suggested to me to bypass this by attending emergency in the Bons but that is only 9 to 5pm monday to friday. I do have health cover but I stayed public with my onc as his nurse said, it made no difference to him. Now he does get paid for supervision of my treatments from health insurance but its okay to keep to the public clinic so doing that. My file there is full of letters and duplicates of letters sent to other departments etc etc. I hope you had a nice relaxing Christmas and New Year and that you continue to do well. I am okay, my gp wasnt happy because of my sinuses and has referred me to emergency ent dept in South. I had two antibiotics before Christmas. I tried to tell him that the spray he makes me use doesnt agree with the Avastin and sometimes I do have issues. I also suggested the Avastin does make sinus probs worse but he is adamant I have more torture. I said, well they cant use the scopey thing because I would have to be off Avastin for four weeks but he said oh yes they can!!!! I thought I was in the Everyman at the pantomine for a minute haha. So have appointment on 13th for this guy and am dreading it. I hadnt Avastin last week due to bank holiday so had an extra weeks break so back next Thursday. I had a quiet Xmas didnt venture out much, a walk or two, some retail therapy which is good for me better than medicine. I am meeting my sister tomorrow for a bit of lunch as its her birthday. The concert was a great success another reason to be hoarse at times. So think we are back to choir next week.

  • Joan, I am shocked to read that the ENt consultant contradicted you on Avastin issues - Do they think our brains were operated on as opposed to the gynae end. I can picture the 'yes it will, no it won't" - all I know is that to have a minor procedure done on my nose - cauterisation - I was off Avastin for 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after, which turned into a 6 week break, before I went back on Avastin.

    Do tell the oncology unit staff before you allow him/her do any procedure - it is your health & body. I knew when I got the chill/flu/ sinus issue /chest infection that it was not cancer or treatment related, so didn't call it in to my Liaison and I glad.

    I saw Marn's post about her delay and will reply to her also.

    Off to the sun on Fri morning and can't wait to get away for a break and recharge the old body battery.

    Regards, Maureen

  • Hi Daisies nice to see you getting back to form, it was my gp who is saying that the ent consultant will do the procedure without stopping the Avastin, sorry I should have made that clear. I am having Avastin tomorrow and will mention the apt with ent to them thanks for reminding me because my head is like a sive at the moment. I really hope you will have a nice stay in the sun with plenty of time to relax and short walks and start refuelling the body. Looking forward to hearing what adventures you have had when you return, all the very best, Joan

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