The NHS has paid out to almost 700 patients in the last eight years, totalling to £45 million, all due to the hospital missing to give them a vital cancer diagnosis.
Alarmingly, this totals to an average of seven people a month being misdiagnosed as being clear of cancer when in actual fact they aren’t. A recent study has found that 52,000 people are having their chances of survival against cancer cut due to hospitals failing to diagnose them correctly.
Peter Walsh, chief executive of the patient safety charity, Action Against Medical Accidents has stated, ‘Advanced software packages that can aid doctors make successful diagnoses have proved their worth in other parts of the world and their use should be more widespread in the NHS.’
Walsh hit the nail on the head, as there is no excuse for such failings when it comes to cancer. Missing such a critical diagnosis early on can rapidly decrease a patient’s chance of survival as the cancer has longer to spread through the body.
Skin, gynaecological, urological and breast cancer have been found to be the most common cancers to receive a delayed diagnosis.
A spokesperson for NHS England had the below to say:
‘Overall the number of patients being diagnosed and treated for cancer early is on the rise – over the last five years we have seen a 51 per cent increase in the number of patients referred within two weeks for suspected cancer symptoms, which is good news for improving early diagnosis and survival. We are now treating more people than ever before and as a result the NHS is helping more people than ever survive.’