Lincolnshire families demand answers after terminal cancers misdiagnosed

The families of two people who died after their cancer symptoms were missed by the same hospital trust have branded the situation "disgraceful".

The families, both from Lincolnshire, are calling for urgent improvements to diagnosis procedures at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Martin Hilton's mother, Janet, was a full-time carer for her husband, Ken, who has Parkinson's disease.

But in January 2021 she started experiencing pain and swelling in her abdomen.

Martin help cares for his father who has Parkinson's. Credit: ITV

She was taken to accident and emergency, but doctors at Boston Pilgrim Hospital discharged her after 12 hours because they were unable to identify the problem.

Two weeks later she was told she had incurable liver cancer and moved to a hospice, where she died six days later.

Mr Hilton said: "She was the best mum ever. She had the biggest heart, she would do anything for anyone.

"She was the most wonderful person."

Janet died less than three weeks after being told by hospital staff that nothing was wrong. Credit: ITV

He added: "I think it was disgusting, I think it's disgraceful. Mum had gone two weeks prior and [they said] 'absolutely nothing wrong with you, go home'.

"She was sat there at two o'clock in the morning and told 'you've got incurable liver cancer'.

"On her own, at 78-years-old, what must have been going through poor mum's mind?"

Two nurses who work for the same hospital trust say their relative was also failed.

They asked to remain anonymous to protect their jobs.

One told ITV News: "He contacted his GP with pain in his ribs. They told him it was a cracked rib and they don't treat that.

"He went back multiple times [but] they didn't take into account that he'd lost 20kg.

"He waited ten weeks for a scan, urgent care saw him, eventually he had an emergency admission and he was diagnosed with stage four cancer."

Two nurses at the trust say they lost a loved one after a cancer misdiagnosis. Credit: ITV

The other nurse said she wanted to speak out because "patients are dying when they don't need to".

"Something needs to change and it's very frustrating as a nurse seeing this and now having experienced that with a loved one, and it's still happening," she said.

The families contacted ITV News after we reported on the death of mother-of-three Laura Barlow, who also died from a cancer misdiagnosis.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it could not comment on individual cases.

In a statement it added: "We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the families that have spoken about their loved ones experiences, and invite them to contact us directly so we can discuss any concerns they may have about the care their family member received."

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