24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 23:35

Breast screening service in Cumbria reviewed

Category: England

Published: 8th Nov 2010 09:21:21

Radiologists who wrongly gave 16 women the all-clear for breast cancer should not return to work until they have had more training, a review has found.

North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust's breast screening programme was suspended in July.

Concerns were raised when data showed that among women who were called for a second screening, cancer was detected in fewer cases than would be expected.

When the service restarts it will be run by experts from Newcastle.

Sixteen women have been treated for breast cancer after being called back for further assessment.

They were among 1,695 recalled after routine mammograms at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven between 2004 and 2010.

A review by Cumbria's Director of Public Health, Professor John Ashton, has recommended that none of the radiologists involved in the incident should return to breast screening work until they have undergone additional training.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been asked to restart the screening programme in Carlisle and Whitehaven, with the support of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust.

After six months, a permanent arrangement will then be put in place in conjunction with Newcastle or a different provider.

Professor Ashton said: "In this incident at the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, 16 women have had their cancers diagnosed later than should have been the case.

"It is important to stress that incidents of this kind are unusual.

"The hospitals trust will now be working with Newcastle upon Tyne's breast screening programme to re-establish the service in north Cumbria."

Carole Heatly, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust's chief executive, said: "Our trust fully understands and appreciates the distress and anxiety this issue will have caused and apologises to all concerned."

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BBC News, 2010. Breast screening service in Cumbria reviewed [Online] (Updated 8th Nov 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/105934/Breast-screening-service-in-Cumbria-reviewed [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]

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