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Hospital criticised over cancer diagnosis delay

Posted in: Medical Negligence Negligent Cancer Diagnosis 

A hospital in Redhill has been criticised over delays in the diagnosis of a patient’s breast cancer following a government watchdog investigation. The patient, who remains anonymous, was referred to East Surrey Hospital after finding a lump in her breast. The ombudsman claimed that the hospital carried out both a mammogram and an ultrasound after her referral in the early summer of 2013, but neither tests confirmed breast cancer. After failing to carry out a needle biopsy, her cancer took a total of eight weeks to be diagnosed.

The trust acknowledged its failings and drew up an action plan to ensure that the mistake does not repeat itself. The patient was awarded £500 in compensation for the worry and distress caused by the delayed diagnosis.

“used the lessons learnt to inform our action plan”

Following the diagnosis, eight weeks after she was first referred, the patient had a mastectomy. The ombudsman stated that despite the hospital’s failings, there was no evidence to suggest that the delay led to the patient requiring more aggressive treatment.

Paul Simpson, deputy chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We apologised personally to Ms N for the wait she experienced in her diagnosis and have used the lessons learnt to inform our action plan.

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