3,500 cancer tests to be reviewed

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Indy Lifestyle Online

An independent review of 3,500 cancer tests is to be carried out over concerns that patients were misdiagnosed, it was revealed today.

It is alleged that one woman was cleared by the screening but went on to develop terminal breast cancer, while others were wrongly told they did have cancer and went through treatment.

Concerns were first raised by pathologists in 2007 over the accuracy of results for patients being tested for skin, respiratory, breast and gynaecological problems at laboratories of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Now the trust, which runs several hospitals in the city, has confirmed it will review 3,500 cases dating back to 2007.

Following advice from the Royal College of Pathologists, the review was prompted by concerns over 15 patients who were tested between 2000 and 2008.

Dr Jonathan Sheffield, medical director at the trust, said: "I am confident about the quality of our pathology services and there is no evidence to confirm a significant error rate.

"However, I take any allegations over clinical performance extremely seriously and therefore this review is necessary to reassure patients and the public that they can have confidence in our pathology services."

The trust, which deals with 18,000 to 19,000 tests each year, said each case will be checked by two independent specialist pathologists.

The audit is expected to take at least 10 weeks.

The Care Quality Commission and Monitor, the independent regulator for Foundation Trusts, has been informed of the review.

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