400 Patients Misdiagnosed At Hospitals Operated By Pennine Acute NHS Trust

Review Found 105 Patients Experienced Possible Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment Delays

13.10.2015

An internal review conducted by Pennine Acute NHS Trust has found that 400 patients attending the four hospitals it operates have been misdiagnosed.

The review into procedures at the Royal Oldham, North Manchester General, Fairfield General and Rochdale Infirmary found 400 incidents of misdiagnosis in the last five years, with 105 relating to possible delays in diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

According to local media reports, twenty cases were deemed ‘serious incidents’, in which 14 caused serious or moderate harm to the patients in question.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has confirmed it is monitoring the procedural review closely following a number of complaints.

Reports suggest the internal review was launched after a rise in failings reported by staff at the hospitals. A Trust report indicated 11 serious misdiagnosis incidents were reported by staff between April and August 2015 and a further 27 were recorded by Clinical Commissioning Groups.

A Pennine Acute NHS Trust spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: “Patient safety and the quality of care we provide to our patients is our top priority.

“As we strengthen our governance processes and incident reporting, we have seen an increase in the number of our clinical staff coming forward to highlight areas where we can make care safer and ensure we are doing all that we can to provide high quality care.”

Lindsay Wise, a Partner and expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: 

Expert Opinion
The sheer number of patients who have been misdiagnosed at the hospitals controlled by the Pennine Acute NHS Trust over the last five years is a huge concern.

“While it is welcome that processes have been implemented to enable staff to report failings and an internal review was triggered, it is absolutely vital steps are taken to prevent these kind of incidents occurring in the first place.

“Patient safety should always be the top priority, particularly when dealing with cancer, a disease where time is of the essence. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can play a crucial role in the chances of recovery and survival. The review has found that some patients have suffered harm as a result of misdiagnosis and it is of paramount importance that they are provided with answers as to how this serious incident occurred.

“We welcome the investigation currently being carried out and hope that any failings are identified and resolved quickly to reassure both those patients affected and those remaining patients being treated at these hospitals.
Lindsay Wise, Partner