CQC Launches Investigation Following Breast Cancer Concerns
The Care Quality Commission’s announcement that it is undertaking an urgent review in relation to breast cancer screening, pathology and clinical governance at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been welcomed by medical law specialists at Irwin Mitchell.
Inspections have begun this week following the Trust’s announcement that 79 women have been recalled in relation to results they received following breast tissue biopsies.
The CQC has confirmed that its inspection team will examine breast cancer screening, pathology and clinical governance specifically, although a ‘deep dive’ review is also set to be carried out to assess patient care elsewhere within the Trust.
Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, is also taking regulatory action to assess leadership at the organisation. It was revealed that Sherwood Forest Hospitals was found to be in breach of its authorisation last month.
Sarah Rowland, a medical lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping those affected by problems with care and treatment at NHS and private hospitals, said the urgent steps were a welcome sign.
She explained: “Clear concerns have been raised about this Trust, so it is very positive to see the CQC and Monitor reacting quickly to address these and provide reassurances to patients and their families.
“The safety of patients must be the number one priority for healthcare providers, so the issues identified in terms of breast cancer screening are a huge worry.
“It is absolutely vital that this review fully assesses standards and offers comprehensive insight into how services can be improved to ensure that these kinds of concerns very much become a thing of the past.”