A chart by the surgeon-in-chief, it says: “As far as we know, Christ Hospital is the only hospital in the United Kingdom where the number of cancer patients exceeds the number who have survived.”
The hospital has seen more than 8,000 patients diagnosed with cancer since it opened in March.
“I’m a bit worried about the future of my chart,” I tell him.
He says he’s been looking into it and will release a report on the data within the next couple of weeks.
“If you take into account the number and the age of the patients, then that is a big number,” he says.
“I’ll be happy to release that report.
But I’m just not confident that it’s true.”
I tell him that my chart says the number was 8,003 patients.
“But that is not the number that’s been released.”
“But that’s the number they’re releasing,” he replies.
“And that is what I want to know,” I say.
“If it’s not true, it’s the worst possible thing that’s happened.
I want the truth to come out.”
I call the number to which he replied, asking what they had released.
“I’m not sure what that number is,” he replied.
He said they would be releasing it within the week.
“That’s not a number,” I explain.
“That’s a word, right?”
“It’s an identifier,” he said.
I asked him if he had released any information on the death rate in Christchurch.
“No,” he told me.
“We haven’t released any data.”
I asked if he was confident that his chart was accurate.
“Absolutely,” he confirmed.
“As of now, we have no data on death rates.”
It’s now been more than a week since I first asked him about the death rates.
But his response has continued to get more and more frustrating.
I call the office again to get his full response, but this time, he hung up.
It is a rare case where a hospital refuses to release information that they’ve already released.
I’ve tried to contact Christchurch Hospital on several occasions since the report was published.
I tried to speak with a number of staff at the hospital, and the answer I got was the same.
“We don’t want to comment on anything we’ve released in the past, but I will say that our overall patient numbers have been steadily increasing for the past three months.”
The hospital’s official Facebook page has been taken down since I began asking questions.
Christchurch’s Department of Health spokesperson said they have “no comment” on this story.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said: “We can confirm that Christchurch’s Cancer Registry has published data for the three months to 30 September 2018, which show the number has increased by nearly a third compared to the same period last year.”
We have also seen a decrease in the number coming to the hospital from the previous two months.
It would be inappropriate for us to comment further in relation to these issues.”