Barkingside grandad dies days after being declared fit by hospital

Roy Turner

Roy Turner - Credit: Archant

The grief-stricken family of a grandad declared “medically fit” by King George Hospital just days before dying from lung cancer say the horrific experience has “sullied” his memory.

Roy Turner

Roy Turner - Credit: Archant

Roy Turner was told there was no cause for immediate concern after several visits to the Barley Lane, Goodmayes, hospital, but a scan picked up the cancer on October 2. He died a week later.

His family are furious and do not want others to go through what they have.

The 85-year-old, who had six grandchildren, received the letter declaring him “otherwise normal” on October 1 – following hospital tests 13 days earlier – just a day before the cancer diagnosis, which also revealed masses on the adrenal glands.

His daughter Marie Arnold raised her concerns at the Care Quality Commission’s “listening event” on Tuesday.

Speaking after the meeting, she told the Recorder: “There’s something drastically wrong if such a serious disease can be missed.

“The past few weeks have sullied our memory of dad and a lot of the pain could have been prevented.

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“A proud man lost his dignity in front of us – that wasn’t the great man we knew towards the end. He was in so much pain.”

When the Barkingside dad-of-two’s illness was diagnosed, the doctor initially wanted to drain fluid from his lung but on closer inspection realised the masses were cancerous and terminal.

The family took him to his home in Fairlop Road to die. Mr Turner’s wife Sylvia, 80, received a phone call from the hospital asking to speak to her husband about coming in for a biopsy on Monday – five days after he died.

Mrs Arnold, 45, of Romford, said: “He kept on fainting, he lost a lot of weight and he could hardly lift up his arms because they’re so swollen. Our Macmillan nurse said that’s one of the first signs of lung cancer.

“Everyone feels so guilty because we were trying to whip him back into shape - we didn’t think there was anything wrong with him.”

“Dad kept fighting right to the end. He just didn’t know it was for nothing.”

A spokesman for Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We were sorry to hear of the death of Roy Turner at home last week.

“We would be happy to discuss any concerns his family have about his care, although we have not received any contact from the family to date.”