Hospital apologises to teenager

A Lancashire Hospital has apologised to a teenage cancer patient for sending him home from its casualty unit with dangerously low blood cell levels.

Bradley North, 15, of Penwortham, who is undergoing chemotherapy to treat bone cancer, cut his hand in an accident with a glass door.

He attended Royal Preston Hospital where a doctor asked him to return for plastic surgery four days later.

On return his blood cell count was so low he required a transfusion.

Bradley suffers from osteosarcoma, which is being treated with chemotherapy at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

His cancer treatment reduces the number of white cells in his blood, which weakens his immune system and affects his ability to fight infection.

The operation to his hand finally went ahead at Royal Preston Hospital seven days after he first visited the casualty unit.

Mr Milind Dalal, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Clinical Director of Plastic Surgery at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We would like to offer our sincere apologies for any distress and inconvenience caused to Bradley and his family.

"During the period that Bradley was with us we experienced a very high number of emergency patients which compromised our standard of treating every patient within 24 hours.

"We are conducting a thorough investigation to determine if anything further could have been done which could have prevented the delay in his operation and whether any lessons can be learnt for the future."

No one from Bradley North's family was available for comment.

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