AN MP is calling for changes at Royal Blackburn Hospital after a cancer sufferer died after waiting for treatment in the A&E department.

Maureen McDonald waited almost three hours to see a hospital doctor after she fell ill during chemotherapy treatment.

Her husband Alan is now taking legal action against the hospital because of the delay caused by a communication mix-up.

Mrs McDonald’s death prompted a serious untoward incident review after Mr McDonald of Blackburn raised concerns about her care.

The report produced following the review revealed that there had been a delay of several hours before Mrs McDonald was seen by a doctor, and that she was given penicillin despite being allergic to it.

Following Mrs McDonald’s death, Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said that staff should be routinely checking whether A&E patients are undergoing any other treatment.

He said: “Something certainly needs to change, I think it’s outrageous. If somebody comes in, that’s absolutely the first thing they should ask, whether they are on any medication.

“It should be standard procedure, if they haven’t done that, that’s terrible.”

Mr Birtwistle said he was also very concerned that not only had Mrs McDonald died, but two other patients had also died after similar miscommunication, since her death.

He said: “It’s not good enough, they obviously haven’t learned from it, and they need to get their act together. It’s shocking, absolutely shocking.

“If it’s happened once and then it’s happened again, that’s appalling.”

Chris Pearson, Chief Nurse at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “It is difficult to add to what we have already said. This was a serious incident that was fully investigated and the trust will learn from it.

“Our sympathies remain with Mr McDonald and his family.”