Many women between the ages of 68 and 71 will be waking up to the news that they might be a victim to the NHS computer system which failed to call women for their final breast cancer screening scan.
Screening in the UK starts at the age of 50 and carries on until the age of 71, with scans being undertaken every 3 years to catch any suspicious changes early and to give patients the best chance of a good outcome following a breast cancer diagnosis. For many the system has not worked and an IT error has resulted in the screening not being carried out as it should have been.
The stories and numbers that are in the press are alarming and it is reported that 450,000 women missed out on the screening between 2009 and this year and of those women, 309,000 are still alive. It is very sad to hear that this means some 41,000 women may have died as a result and gives rise to a serious concern that some of these deaths might have been avoided if screening had taken place.
This is a lot of information and will no doubt be distressing to those who may be affected, someone who thinks that they have missed a screening, a family member who has lost a loved to breast cancer or someone who in the coming days receives an NHS recall letter.
The NHS have assured the public that they will act quickly and remedy the situation where it is possible to do so. While we wait for further information to emerge, MW Solicitors encourages those who suspect that they may be affected to use the NHS helpline to seek answers to any queries they may have.
We also encourage patients to seek legal advice as they may be able to seek compensation for any harm that has come to them as a result of a delayed diagnosis.
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Partner - Health & Injury
At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who have been affected by the failure of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.
Nisha Sharma is a specialist Clinical Negligence solicitor with a wealth of experience in this area and has previously acted for many women in breast cancer claims, most notably in the Ian Paterson litigation. Nisha can travel to see her clients wherever they may be based in the UK.