Mid Essex NHS trust pays out over second opinion refusal
A cancer patient who was refused a second opinion after being told his case was terminal - and was later cured - has been given a refund by the NHS.
The man said Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust staff told him a second opinion would be "pointless".
He later had successful surgery to remove the cancer and complained to the Ombudsman about his treatment.
The trust agreed to refund the £12,000 he paid for testing and initial treatment at a private hospital.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman decided the refusal of a second opinion by the trust - which runs Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford - was "unreasonable".
The man, referred to in case details as Mr R, said the thought of what would have happened if he had accepted the trust's diagnosis and treatment plan has caused him considerable distress.
He was offered palliative chemotherapy for his "inoperable" cancer, a treatment which would have helped his symptoms rather than cure him.
But a private hospital said the cancer was operable and he went on to have surgery at a different NHS hospital.
The trust acknowledged the failings identified by the ombudsman and apologised to Mr R.
He was also paid £500 "in recognition of the inconvenience and distress caused by the failings", an ombudsman spokeswoman said.
A trust spokeswoman said: "We fully investigated this case at the time and took on-board all of the lessons that we needed to learn, in particular to make sure patients get access to a second opinion.
"We sincerely apologise again for the distress caused to Mr R and his family."