Crouch End music promoter instructs solicitor to investigate his claims hospital delayed in his cancer diagnosis
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A music promoter with stage 3 cancer has instructed medical negligence lawyers to investigate his claims that he was passed around by doctors, prescribed Sudocrem and ridiculed when in vital need of diagnosis.
Barry Marshall-Everitt, 69 – who lives in Crouch End – said he and his family are still “reeling” from his urethral cancer diagnosis, but stressed he now wants “much-deserved answers” about his handling by University College London Hospitals (UCLH).
He said: “If there are lessons to be learned, [I hope] UCLH takes action to prevent others from being in the same dreadful position my family and I find ourselves in.”
Dad-of-three Barry – whose long career has included managing a T-Rex tour, DJing on pirate radio and helping David Bowie record a still-unreleased set – first visited UCLH in October 2015.
He claimed the consultant did not carry out tests or examine him, instead informing him he had a skin problem and referring him to another doctor.
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That doctor told him to wear looser underwear and prescribed him the nappy rash product Sudocrem, he said.
Six months later, a tumour the size of a golf ball was discovered in his urethra.
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His wife, the blues musician Bex Marshall, told the Ham&High she is “furious” with UCLH and accused the hospital of wasting precious time in his diagnosis.
“It’s been a complete mess,” she said.
“I can’t believe nobody else saw this early on. If they caught it then it would be so much different.”
She added: “It’s ended up being his death sentence.”
Bex also said she feels the hospital is “walking away from its duty of care” after telling him there is little else it can do.
“Now it’s fallen on us to beg, borrow and steal anything we can to go to bloody Mexico and get treatment,” she said.
Barry and Bex began a massive fundraising drive after learning there was a procedure available in the USA.
They initially aimed to raise £200,000, but when they found out about a treatment centre in Tijuana, they changed their target to £35,000.
They currently have more than £18,000 in donations.
Bex said she has huge respect for the NHS, but the ordeal has been a “living hell” for her and Barry.
“When it allows for people to die, it doesn’t really work, does it?” she said.
“I remember one of the doctors at UCLH saying to him: ‘You can’t be in that much pain if you put your trousers on that quickly’.”
“He was ridiculing him when he had cancer – instead of diagnosing it.”
Barry is now staying in Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead while Bex tries to raise the remaining cash for his immunotherapy in Mexico.
Meanwhile medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have begun an investigation into Barry’s treatment at UCLH.
Alison Eddy, who is representing Barry for the firm, said the family are “desperately seeking answers” about why his cancer wasn’t discovered earlier.
“Delays in promptly diagnosing and treating any type of cancer can have devastating consequences and it is vital that doctors focus on the symptoms and give each patient the best possible care when seeking to determine a diagnosis,” she said.
“There is sadly nothing that can turn back the clock for Barry, but it is important to him and his family that any potential issues and lessons are identified to improve patient safety and prevent anyone else from a similar ordeal.”
A spokeswoman for UCLH told the Ham&High the hospital is speaking with Barry about his concerns.
She added: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Everitt has been less than happy with his treatment.
“Mr Everitt presented with an unusual set of symptoms which required several investigations to determine a diagnosis of an extremely rare condition.
“We had to reschedule a number of appointments which Mr Everitt missed during the period between his first appointment and diagnosis.”
To donate to Barry’s fund, visit gofundme.com/barrycancerfund