Missed bowel cancer patients should seek independent review

By Esther Hayden

Published 12/03/2016 | 00:00

Wexford General Hospital.
Wexford General Hospital.

Patients affected by the missed cancers controversy in Wexford General Hospital should insist on an independent review of their screening, it has been claimed.

Around 600 patients who had undergone a colonoscopy, some as part of the State's national bowel screening programme, BowelScreen, were recalled after two missed bowel cancer diagnoses at the hospital in 2014.

Since then, the patient recall has discovered a further 12 missed cancer diagnoses at the hospital, including one death.

Following these discoveries, an internal review into the events is being prepared by the hospital.

'Those patients affected should insist on an independent review to establish with confidence if their colonoscopy was carried out properly in the first instance and whether the interpretation and reporting of the colonoscopy is correct,' said solicitor Dermot McNamara who deals in this area.

'Only an independent expert can provide patients with the reassurance that they are entitled to and alleviate their ongoing stress and anxiety about their condition.

'The state's bowel cancer screening programme has been undermined by these events and an independent review is the only way to restore the public's confidence in the programme.

'Important questions remain unanswered, such as how the two initial missed diagnoses came to light and how they were missed by the specialist in the first instance."

'An independent review is the best means to identify failures in the cancer screening process at the hospital and pinpoint exactly how these failures were allowed to occur.'

Wexford People

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