Safety Concerns for Breast Cancer Patients at Royal Stoke University Hospital
At least 26 women are suspected to have been harmed by poor breast cancer treatment.
Treatment provided by a Consultant Breast Surgeon at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust is being reviewed, following fears over patient safety. The Trust, responsible for Royal Stoke University Hospital, has said that the majority of concerns relate to patients who have had reconstructive or risk reduction surgery. Alongside internal investigations, the Royal College of Surgeons has also become involved and has launched its own investigation.
The Consultant whose care has sparked worry has not yet been named, but he has been barred from seeing patients since 22nd January 2016. Concerns were first raised in December 2015 by his colleagues in the Breast Care Team and an investigation began in early February 2016. These investigations are still ongoing. The Trust has now said that it has written letters to all 26 patients who are suspected to have been injured by poor care.
Mr Robert Courteney-Harris, Chief Executive of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, has said:
“Whilst investigations are on-going, on behalf of the Trust I should like to express my sincere regret and apologies to any patients who may have received a standard of care that is below that expected. We took immediate action as soon as serious concerns about specific aspects of this consultant’s practice were brought to our attention. All those who are potentially affected have been contacted by us”.
I recently wrote about the types of injuries that can occur with negligent breast cancer treatment, and how a legal claim may help. Inappropriate breast cancer treatment can result in a variety of injuries, including pain and other symptoms, the need for more treatment including surgery, additional scarring and the cancer spreading.
Patients who have suffered medical negligence for breast cancer are entitled to compensation, in order to help them recover as much as they can from any harm they have suffered.
This news is very concerning for patients who received breast cancer care at Royal Stoke University Hospital. It is distressing enough for any patient to be affected by breast cancer, but to then find out that their medical treatment was not appropriate is devastating. These patients will understandably be worried about their treatment and will want reassurances that their care was appropriate and did not result in any harm to them.
26 women have already been identified as being potentially injured by inappropriate care, and this number could rise as investigations are ongoing. In these situations, it is vital that patients who think they may have been affected seek independent legal advice regarding their rights and options.