15 August 2013
Breast cancer diagnosis follows all-clear
In what could be the latest in a string of blows to the NHS following the Mid-Staffs scandal, a person has been diagnosed for breast cancer after being given the all-clear.
While this may not normally be the basis for a malpractice or medical negligence claim, it has emerged that the patient was one of 462 people that were assessed by a doctor that was found to be using an inaccurate method of testing.
The Royal Bournemouth Hospital had to tell the patients to come back to their facility as it could not guarantee previous all-clears given to them and, according to reports in the Daily Mail, a 63-year-old man was diagnosed with breast cancer.
A hospital spokesperson said that the doctor behind the mistakes no longer works at the establishment and has since moved to another NHS trust.
In addition to the 63-year-old, two other patients of the 462-strong group have also been diagnosed with malignant tumours in one of their breasts, but they were treated by other medical institutions that managed to spot the problem.
While breast cancer has a relatively high survivability level in the UK, with most people told they have the disease making a full recovery, it is still vitally important that any lumps are spotted early and reported to doctors.
In most cases, scans are highly accurate in spotting tumours, but if problems persist and the lump continues to grow, it is best to get a second opinion from another medical professional, who might be able to spot something the GP missed.
A statement from The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust read: "We apologise to all patients involved for the distress this has caused.
"The review team worked extremely hard to ensure all patients invited back did receive the invite letter. Copies of the letters were sent to the patients' GPs and new addresses were found for those who did not respond with offers of appointments closer to where they now live."
By Chris Stevenson