Breast Cancer Patients ‘Failed’ By NHS, Says Report

Legal Experts Push For Higher Standards Of Patient Care

15.07.2016

Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Medical negligence experts from law firm Irwin Mitchell are calling for higher standards of patient care, after a report warned thousands of women whose breast cancer has spread are being “failed” by the NHS.

The report, compiled by Breast Cancer Care, revealed “extremely worrying” failings, with secondary breast cancer patients being diagnosed in A&E, suffering unnecessarily while waiting for months to see a specialist and even having their concerns “ignored” by doctors.

The charity claims that throughout the UK thousands of women whose breast cancer has spread to other parts of their body are suffering from “appalling gaps” in care.

The report suggested around one in 10 women with secondary breast cancer are diagnosed in A&E rather than a breast clinic, meaning some patients were being “left struggling with uncontrolled symptoms that become so debilitating they are rushed to hospital”.

It was reported that one in five women with secondary breast cancer said despite raising concerns their disease had spread with their GP, it was eight weeks or more before they saw a hospital doctor.

The report claimed symptoms that are “red flags” for secondary breast cancer are “not being acted on appropriately” and that left untreated, symptoms can worsen and tumours can spread.

Partner and medical negligence expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell, Mark Havenhand said the findings showed the need for a higher standard of care for breast cancer sufferers.

Expert Opinion
These findings show the need for a high index of suspicion for breast cancer returning and a low threshold for implementing investigations to ensure the disease is detected as early as possible. We work closely with many breast cancer patients who have suffered unnecessarily as a direct impact of poor medical treatment and see how traumatic and devastating the consequences of that can be.

Ensuring that patients are listened to, given a prompt diagnosis in an appropriate setting and see a specialist so treatment can begin as soon as possible is vital to saving lives and reducing suffering caused by this disease.
Mark Havenhand, Partner

If you have suffered due to misdiagnosed breast cancer or a delayed breast cancer diagnosis, our medical negligence lawyers could help you claim compensation. Call 0808 163 4557 for a free initial consultation or see our Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims page for more details.