My father was diagnosed and treated for lung cancer (aged 59) in North Middlesex Hospital. I took him for his final assessment with the Consultant who told me (not my father) that they could do nothing more for him and he had only a short time to live (months maybe). With my sister’s assistance, we made the back of the car into a makeshift ambulance and drove him to my house in Hampshire where my wife (and 3 children) and I cared for him virtually bed-ridden. After about 2 weeks, I came home from work to find that he had been unable to pass water all day and was in great discomfort.  We called the local GP who called for an ambulance to get him to hospital in Gosport where he was catheterised. It was Friday and he was kept in hospital for the weekend.

My expectations were that, having relieved the urinary problem, he would be allowed home to die there. However, on the Monday morning I received a call at work telling me that he had taken a turn for the worse and that it would be good to come in. On arrival on the ward, the ward sister kept me back at the door and I could see my father in bed (through the screens) surrounded by staff.  A few minutes later I was told that he had died while they were taking an X-ray!!  Apparently, in my ignorance, I assumed that patients’ notes would be transferred from hospital to hospital – I was so wrong.