Woman's breast cut off by mistake

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN who had a breast cut off by mistake after a wrong cancer diagnosis has started legal proceedings.

The hospital where the unnecessary mastectomy operation took place confirmed last night that a mistaken diagnosis had been made at another hospital.

Huw Llewellyn-Morgan, solicitor for the woman - who is 42 and lives in Swansea - said last night: 'I have been instructed by a client who underwent a mastectomy believed unnecessary. Notice has been given to the relevant authorities.'

Two hospitals were involved in the unnamed woman's treatment: the Morriston Hospital where she was diagnosed and the Singleton Hospital where the surgery took place, both National Health Service trusts in Swansea.

David Williams, chief executive of the Singleton Hospital, said last night that as the matter had been made public, 'regretfully, I have to confirm that a diagnosis of breast cancer was erroneously made at a different general hospital . . .

'Singleton Hospital was used as the location for surgery because we remained open to such urgent cases at a time when there had been bed shortages elsewhere.'

At the Morriston Hospital Ysbyty Treforys NHS Trust, Mike Naylor, chief executive designate, said that inquiries had started. 'This matter gives rise to very serious concern and we have initiated an internal inquiry to clarify the facts in relation to this trust.'

He said it was not appropriate to make any further comment as 'we believe the matter is the subject of legal action potentially involving more than one party.'

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