Published on 05/07/2012
An NHS hospital trust has admitted that cancer patients faced “discomfort, worry and possible deterioration” after losing their medical records.
In January, Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London admitted it had uncovered errors in its record keeping, meaning it did not know whether cancer patients had been seen.
Now, official figures passed to The Daily Telegraph show that the mistakes affected more than 1,000 people suspected of having cancer. Some patients were forced to wait two years to be treated when they should have been seen within two weeks.
According to the BBC, at the height of the problems in February around 3,500 patients were waiting longer than the 18 week NHS target for treatment or operations. Some of these patients were recorded as having been on the waiting list since 2009.
Imperial, which runs four big hospitals in London, has admitted that patients may have faced "discomfort, worry and possible deterioration as a result of a delay".
Currently 1,600 patients without private medical insurance have been waiting for longer than 18 weeks at the trust.
An investigation is now underway into 74 patients who are known to have died since the error. So far it has been concluded that the delay did not contribute to the deaths in 49 cases, but 25 are still under review.
A spokeswoman from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We have carried out a thorough clinical review of records. To date we have found no evidence that these patients have come to clinical harm as a result of our poor record keeping.”
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012Categories: NHS and Hospitals