No time to lose

No time to lose

July 28, 2015

28 July, 2015

An inmate was told after a colonoscopy that he likely had bowel cancer and would need surgery immediately – within a week. However, the jail’s doctor told him the facility had no paperwork from the specialist, and it would be up to four weeks before he could even get an appointment for surgery.

An inmate was told after a colonoscopy that he likely had bowel cancer and would need surgery immediately – within a week. However, the jail’s doctor told him the facility had no paperwork from the specialist, and it would be up to four weeks before he could even get an appointment for surgery. This was after the man’s colonoscopy had already been delayed by a month because jail staff hadn’t properly prepared him for the procedure when it was first booked.

When Ombudsman staff contacted the facility, they confirmed the man’s colonoscopy had been delayed because of staff errors. The manager booked a follow-up specialist appointment, at which his cancer diagnosis was confirmed and surgery was scheduled as quickly as possible.

After the surgery, the inmate told us the surgeon reported he “got all the cancer.” He thanked Ombudsman staff for helping him during a period of extreme anxiety. He finished serving his sentence a few months later and returned, cancer-free, to his wife and children