The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has today advised that up to 270 women in England may have died because they did not receive invitations to a final routine breast cancer screening. Around 450,000 women aged 68-71 have failed to get invitations since 2009.
The failure to send out the invitations has been blamed on a computer algorithm failure. Mr Hunt has said: “For them and others it is incredibly upsetting to know that you did not receive an invitation for screening at the correct time and totally devastating to hear you may have lost or be about to lose a loved one because of administrative incompetence.”
Breast cancer screening is currently offered to women aged 50 to 70 in England as the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age. Breast cancers found by screening are generally at an early stage. Very early breast cancers are usually easier to treat, may need less treatment, and are more likely to be cured. Therefore, the failure to provide screening for these women whose cancer could have been identified at an earlier stage could have devastating consequences.
All women affected will now be contacted by letter by the end of May 2018 and those under 75 will be offered a routine catch-up mammogram.
Inez Brown, Partner (Solicitor) and Head of Clinical Negligence from Medical Accident Group said “As a firm who routinely deal with delays in diagnosis of cancer, this is just a further cause for such delays and a potentially fatal one. It is extremely disturbing that potentially several hundreds of women and their families may be put through avoidable pain and heartache.”
As an experienced local firm, we have managed to secure an award of compensation for many clients who have experienced negligent medical treatment. If you have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.