You're dead, cancer patient told
Published 16/06/2010 | 16:51
A health trust has launched an investigation after a cancer patient was allegedly told he could not book a hospital appointment - because he was dead.
Alan Campbell, 63, received the startling information from a telephone operator when he tried to set a date to see a doctor.
The former lorry driver, of Little Harwood, Blackburn, Lancashire, has had three operations to treat skin cancer on his cheek and nose.
When he started having throat pains, he became worried the disease might have spread.
His GP gave him a code to arrange an appointment with the NHS Choose and Book system, but a telephone operator told him he could not set a date because their records showed he was "deceased".
Mr Campbell, who has also survived a stroke and a heart attack, said: "I rang on Saturday and was told I could see a consultant on June 29.
"But then they said, 'Sorry, we can't give you an appointment, our records show you are deceased'.
"I said you're joking, I'm only 63, I'm talking to you, aren't I?' But they said 'you'll have to go back to your GP on Monday to get it sorted out'.
"I couldn't believe it. I was flabbergasted.
"I'm not one for complaining, but when somebody says you're dead it's not on."