I was interested to read this article last week as I acted on behalf of one of these women in their potential claim against Accrington Victoria Hospital. An independent review confirmed that a radiologist failed to keep his medical skills up to date and gave the all-clear to 20 women who later were told they had breast cancer.
The doctor failed to conduct full and complete assessment checks for up to 9 years at Accrington Victoria Hospital. His incorrect screenings between 2000 and 2006 led to a delayed cancer diagnosis for a further 41 women. Fortunately, the radiologist has not undertaken clinical work since April 2009 and has been suspended from duty pending disciplinary proceedings.
The radiologist in question was using outdated techniques rather than performing biopsies with ultrasounds. This case illustrates the importance of doctors updating their skills due to the advances that occur with diagnostic techniques. My thoughts are not only with the woman directly affected, but for the thousands of other women who then questioned the quality and safety of the Breast Service Screening at East Lancashire.
The Trust has subsequently apologised to all patients affected. However, the real question is what safeguards have been put in place to prevent this terrible tragedy from happening again?
Amy Bond is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email email@example.com and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.