Apology for cancer victim's family

RELATIVES of Suffolk cancer victim Matt Elmy today received a long-awaited apology from a hospital where he suffered a catalogue of errors.Matt, who grew up in Coopers Close, Witnesham, died on February 19 after a two-and-a-half year battle against testicular cancer.

RELATIVES of Suffolk cancer victim Matt Elmy today received a long-awaited apology from a hospital where he suffered a catalogue of errors.

Matt, who grew up in Coopers Close, Witnesham, died on February 19 after a two-and-a-half year battle against testicular cancer.

Now bosses at Whipps Cross University Hospital, London, have apologised to the family for a catalogue of disasters he suffered there including:

contracting MRSA


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being kept waiting on a trolley for 13 hours

losing his x-rays

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Following a meeting this week between his parents Jan and Peter and brother Mark, the hospital issued a formal apology for the way Matt was treated.

A spokeswoman said: "Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust would like to apologise to the family of Matthew Elmy for any lapses in the care he received when he was patient in 2002.

"In the two years since Mr Elmy was a patient at Whipps Cross Hospital the trust has changed enormously. Today it is providing patients with a better service than ever before.

"The trust has reviewed the care which was provided to Mr Elmy and held a very positive meeting with his family."

Mark Elmy said he was happy the hospital had recognised its failings and urged them to take action.

He said: "Obviously I'm pleased they've apologised but it doesn't actually help or solve anything.

"The thing they have to do is change their procedures and ensure it doesn't happen again.

"Otherwise the apology isn't worth the paper it's written on."

Matt, who lived in Walthamstow up until his death, initially visited his doctor in August 2002 complaining of pain in his testicle, but was told it was probably an infection.

He was diagnosed with cancer a month later after going to Whipps Cross hospital in agony and refusing to leave. By then, the cancer had spread to his brain, lungs, liver and lymph system.

Matt had earlier made repeated visits to the hospital's accident and emergency department, only to be turned away each time and given morphine for his pain.

His family also claim he contracted MRSA while an inpatient, that he was kept waiting on a trolley for 13 hours and his x-rays were lost on one occasion.

Mark, 33, of Henniker Road, Debenham, said Monday's meeting had gone very well and repeated his call for blood tests to be carried out on men with testicle pain.

He said: "It was very helpful to see them and understand more about what was going on. They were very open, honest and helpful.

"We feel that as a matter of course people should have to be blood tested as well as scanned because Matt is not the only person who has slipped through the net.

"If Matt was blood tested at the beginning this wouldn't have happened."

Since Matt's death, his family has been raising money for the Orchid Cancer Appeal in his memory.

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