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Grieving daughter wants answers after dad George Hobbs dies of skin cancer after five-month fight for treatment

By Ed McConnell

A grieving daughter wants answers after her father died five months after first seeking help for a painful growth on his head.

KentOnline has been following George Hobbs’ story since May when he came to us to complain he’d been sent away from his GP with paracetamol three times despite the golf-ball sized lump growing.

He was eventually referred to a specialist but delays and rearranged appointments continued and on Thursday, July 25, the 89-year-old passed away at Medway Maritime Hospital of multiple organ failure caused by basal-cell carcinoma.

George Hobbs has died aged 89 (14831980)
George Hobbs has died aged 89 (14831980)

His daughter Clare Hobbs, 32, now wants to know why he was never prescribed medication and why it took medics so long to help her father.

She said: “There have been failures on a lot of people’s parts.”

Mr Hobbs’ struggle began last August when he fell over and cut his head on the day of his late wife’s funeral.

The wound failed to heal and became painful and larger over the months until in February, Clare successfully persuaded the grandfather-of-four to seek help.

He went to The Railside Surgery, Railway Street, Gillingham, three times and was sent away with painkillers.

On his fourth visit at the start of May, a locum doctor finally referred him to a specialist and the retired civil servant, of Davenport Avenue, was told the black mound was cancerous.

After a number of rearranged appointments, an operation was eventually scheduled for July 5 but after being sick on the journey to East Grinstead’s Queen Victoria Hospital, which provides specialist skin cancer care, he was sent home.

Speaking a week before his death, Mr Hobbs said he was having to sleep on a folded towel as the mass was bleeding.

George Hobbs of Davenport Avenue, Gillingham
George Hobbs of Davenport Avenue, Gillingham

Clare said: “Towards the end he’d spend a lot of time lying down as that’s when it was at its least painful.

“He hardly went out because he was embarrassed.

“He filed all his documents and when I went through them after his death I found a note which read ‘please help me it’s so painful’. That was heartbreaking.”

A complaint Mr Hobbs made to Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England is still being investigated.

The lump which first began to grow in August last year
The lump which first began to grow in August last year

Miss Hobbs added: “I just want someone to take responsibility. He was miserable and he did not deserve that.”

Tracy Rouse, director of primary care at the CCG, said: “We are sorry to hear of Mr Hobbs’ death.”

She added NHS England was looking into concerns raised.

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