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Belfast NHS Trust Orders Urology Review

Over 1,100 Patients Are Recalled


Belfast Health and Social Care NHS Trust has ordered a review into potential failings at a hospital's urology department.

Over 1,100 patients who were previously given the all-clear after tests have now been recalled for further tests to ensure they do not have diseases that were missed.

Anyone that attended Belfast City Hospital for a bladder camera test through 2012 and 2013 has been asked to make themselves known to bosses at the trust so they can be reassured about their health.

If it is found that patients were given false all-clears, something that could have contributed to acute illness or malignancy, it could result in legal action - as the affected party would possibly have grounds to claim they were neglected by the trust.

Belfast Health and Social Care NHS Trust medical director Tony Stevens apologised for the situation, but said it was vital that patients' care was the top priority.

"We have identified a small number of cases where the standard of care was not what we would have expected and therefore we are offering these patients an appointment with a consultant to have the procedure repeated," Mr Stevens commented.

"I must stress, this is precautionary. I fully accept this may cause patients worry and concern and for that I am very sorry."

Anyone who believes they are among the 1,113 urology patients affected should call a helpline set up by the trust to deal with inquiries: (028) 9063 0500. Lines are open from 08:00 until 18:00 on weekdays.

A similar recall took place at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Nottinghamshire last year.

There were concerns about the validity of biopsies carried out on 79 women who had suspected cases of breast cancer and these women had to undergo further diagnostic tests to ensure they had been given the correct information about their potential malignancy.

It is unclear whether that case led to any litigation.

Expert Opinion
We welcome the helpline set up by the Trust to provide help and reassurance to patients who have concerns that they might have been affected.

“However, the Trust must provide answers to patients about how and why their care could have fallen below the standard expected.

“If any failings are found we would also expect a thorough investigation to take place along with an action plan of improvements that would protect future patient safety and prevent the same failings from happening again.

“We hope anyone who is found to have been given wrong or inaccurate test results are given the treatment and support they need as quickly as possible to help them come to terms with their ordeal.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner