Patient with incurable cancer incorrectly given drugs to combat Parkinson's Disease at Royal Preston Hospital

John Clarke who is being treated for colon cancer
John Clarke who is being treated for colon cancer
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A 31-year-old terminally-ill patient has lodged a formal complaint after hospital staff sent him home with the wrong medication.

John Clarke claims he was prescribed four separate drugs when he was discharged from a specialist cancer ward at the Royal Preston Hospital - none of which were correct.

Mr Clarke was being treated at RPH

Mr Clarke was being treated at RPH

And it was only when he became suspicious at home and looked up the tablets on the internet that he discovered the error.

Now hospital chiefs say they are carrying out “a full and thorough review regarding a medication incident.”

“I couldn’t believe someone could make such a mistake,” said John at home in the Broadfield area of Leyland. “One of the drugs was for treating Parkinson’s Disease and another for restless legs syndrome.

“As soon as I contacted my cancer nurse she was appalled and told me to stop taking them immediately.”

The alleged error happened on the 26-bed Ribblesdale Ward which cares for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

John, who is suffering from colon and liver cancer, has been a regular patient at the Ribblesdale Ward for the past year. His regular medication includes pain relief and anti-depressants.

But the day after his latest spell in hospital he said he started to “feel funny” and looked at the tablets he had been given.

“The drugs weren’t what I normally have - I hadn’t heard of them before,” he said. “And when I looked them up I realised there must have been a mistake.

“I know all the nurses on the ward and they are great. They know me and what drugs I take, so I know it can’t have been their fault.”

John, who worked in the building trade, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer last year. It has now spread to his liver and is stage 4C.

“They have told me I am incurable,” he said. “I don’t know how long I have left. I’m on constant medication for pain, all day and night. But it doesn’t get rid of the pain, it just lessens it.”

Hospital chiefs have confirmed an investigation into a “medication incident” has now been launched.

Gail Naylor, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The safety and wellbeing of our patients is our top priority so we take all incidents and reports of errors very seriously.

“We record and investigate all of these to ensure that we understand what went wrong and how we can learn from them. Whilst it would not be appropriate for us to comment on an individual case, we can confirm that we are currently carrying out a full and thorough review regarding a medication incident.

“We have already been in contact with those concerned to rectify any mistakes and will report the findings of the review to them as soon as this is completed.”