Woman Joins Irwin Mitchell In Supporting Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
A woman is calling for lessons to be learned after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer 14 months after her suspicious smear test results were incorrectly reported as normal.
Hayley Wareing underwent a routine test to check for signs of cervical cancer, the results of which were analysed and reported as negative. However, she was at high risk of developing the disease.
Over the coming months, Hayley, of Kings Norton, Birmingham, sought medical advice several times complaining of symptoms, including heavy bleeding after exercise.
Following a private consultation she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The 36-year-old underwent surgery, including a full hysterectomy – meaning she is unable to have children - as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Hayley instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care. University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which was responsible for analysing the original smear test results has since admitted that Hayley’s smear test was interpreted incorrectly.
Hayley has now joined her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in using Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in a bid to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease and in calling on the Hospital Trust to learn lessons from her care.
Expert Opinion“The last couple of years have been extremely upsetting for Hayley as continues to try to come to terms with her diagnosis and the effects of her treatment, sadly including that she will not be able to have children.
“We believe that if Hayley’s tests results had been recorded correctly she would have received urgent appropriate treatment, which would have avoided her hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“We now call on the Trust to ensure it learns lessons from this case so other women do not have to go through the anger and upset Hayley has had to endure following her diagnosis.
“Cervical cancer is a treatable disease with a good long term prognosis when it is diagnosed early. It is important women continue to attend regular smear appointments and be aware of the symptoms, and if needed, seek medical advice at the earliest possible opportunity.” Emma Rush - Partner
Hayley underwent a smear in October 2015 at her GP surgery. The test was sent to University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust for analysis, with the results coming back as ‘negative’. It was recommended that Hayley was invited for a routine follow up test in a further three years.
In May 2016 she visited A&E at Queen Elizabeth Hospital after suffering heavy bleeding for more than a week.
In November 2016 Hayley once again visited her GP complaining of bleeding, including after going to the gym.
Hayley’s GP referred her to a private consultant who raised suspicions. Following tests and biopsies she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December 2016 and underwent surgery around a week later.
Hayley continues to suffer back, pelvis and hip pain, as well as fatigue and chronic swelling in her thighs caused by a build-up of fluid from her radiotherapy.
'She had to give up her job as a service delivery manager because her role required UK and international travel and other demanding duties which she cannot do because of her fatigue. Hayley now works for a banking company.
Hayley said: “I feel like a totally different person since my diagnosis and it has been incredibly difficult trying to come to terms with how my life has been turned upside down.
“Simple things that many people take for granted are now a real struggle. Even walking can be painful. I used to enjoy exercise and would go to the gym around six times a week but even moderate exercise now can leave me in agony for days after.
“One of the worst things has been trying to come to terms with the fact that I cannot have any children. I was always dreamed of having two children.
“It is difficult not to feel angry at what happened but I want to try and focus on the future. I just hope that the Hospital Trust realises the impact its error has had on my life and learns lessons to improve patient care.
“By speaking out I hope other women realise how important it is that they recognise the signs of cervical cancer and seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity.”
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is organised by charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and runs from 21-27 January. For more information visit www.jostrust.org.uk