Cancer cases missed as junior doctors are left to read x-rays

  • December 5, 2017
  • The Care Quality Commission has ordered NHS bodies to provide it with information on how they report on radiology images after it was discovered that cases of lung cancer were missed at Queens Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.  Junior doctors at the hospital revealed that even though they had not received proper training, they had been asked to conduct specialist radiology work.  The CQC found that three patients had suffered significant harm when cancer had not been diagnosed which resulted in the death of two of the patients.

    This has led to the CQC launching a review of the NHS in England.  Prof. Ted Baker, from the CQC, said “When a patient is referred for an X-ray or scan, it is important that the resulting images are examined and reported on by properly trained clinical staff who know what they are looking for – this is a specialist skill.”

    CQC inspectors discovered a backlog of 23,000 chest X-rays at Queens Alexandra Hospital, none of which had been reviewed in the previous 12 months by a radiologist or properly trained clinical staff.  The Trust has since put in place procedures to ensure that images are checked by trained clinical staff.  They have had to provide the CQC with weekly reports on all outstanding X-rays and must inform patients if their X-ray is delayed.

    A free phone helpline has been set up by the Trust for people concerned that they may be affected – Tel: 0800 7837118.

    Charlotte Measures, Senior Associate

    Charlotte Measures, Senior Associate at Medical Accident Group said “patients are literally placing their lives in the hands of medical professionals on a daily basis, hoping and trusting that they are receiving the best treatment and care possible.  It is unacceptable in this day and age with all of the advancements in medical technology, for patients to be failed in this way and to then end up paying for these failures within the NHS with their lives.”

    As an experienced local Worcester firm, we have managed to successfully claim compensation for families, who have directly and indirectly suffered a loss due to the negligent actions of NHS Trusts all over the UK. 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 or email us at

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