FeatureTelford News

£1.6m in payouts to delayed and misdiagnosed patients locally

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust paid out £1.6m in damages for cancer delayed and misdiagnosis claims, part of £128m nationally.

England’s Health Ombudsman recently warned that cancer patients could be put at risk, calling for immediate government action after research into cancer complaints frequently pointed to misdiagnosis and treatment delays.

An investigation launched by Medical Negligence Assist now finds that NHS trusts are paying out millions in claims surrounding cancer treatment failure/delays and misdiagnosis.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has had a whopping 23 such claims and incidents lodged against it since 2019.

Eight claims and incidents were received by NHS Resolution between 2019/20 against Shrewsbury and Telford Trust, Medical Negligence Assist (MNA) has found.

A further nine were lodged between 2020/21 as well as six more in 2021/22.

Of the 23 claims, 5 were closed or settled costing the trust a total of £1,611,815.

Dr John Jones, Medical Director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Our clinicians and teams are continuing to prioritise cancer care and have made significant progress in reducing cancer waiting times and supporting faster diagnosis for our communities, though we know we have further to go. We continue to experience high numbers of cancer referrals and will prioritise patients based on clinical need and length of time waiting.

“We know the terrible impact a misdiagnosis or delay in treatment has on patients and their families, and we are very sorry when this happens. We will continue to offer support to any families affected and work with teams to embed any learning to improve the care we offer.”

Rob Behrens, England’s Health ombudsman has stressed the imperative of safe and effective care within the NHS

“Patient safety will always be at risk in environments that are understaffed and where staff are exhausted and under unsustainable pressure,” he said.

He called for “concerted and sustained action from the government” to ensure NHS leaders can focus on safeguarding patients.

The situation is further reflected in NHS England’s data which shows that only 74.2 per cent of patients urgently referred for suspected cancer in December 2023 received a diagnosis or had cancer ruled out within 28 days, failing to meet the 75 per cent target.

Pic: Telford Live!

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