BOSSES of breast cancer charities are urging women not to be put off breast cancer screening after it was revealed how a junior doctor had failed to follow proper procedures.
A total of 272 patients who attended a clinic at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital between January 2011 and July last year have been recalled for further reassessments.
It came after consultants raised concerns regarding the doctor, who is no longer working there, and the way in which an initial assessment of some patients may have been carried out.
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said in a statement at the time, that the assessments “potentially did not meet our usual high standards”.
Sally Greenbrook, from leading breast cancer charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: “Any variation from the usual high standards of breast screening is extremely worrying. We are pleased to see that the hospital is acting with urgency in reassuring those affected and ensuring that this does not happen again.
“We hope that it doesn’t put women off attending their screening appointment, as early detection offers the best chance of a successful outcome. The NHS Breast Screening Programme is an important service that is estimated to save 1,300 lives annually in England alone.
“Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s new online guide to breast screening and its potential benefits and risks helps women make a decision about whether or not to attend. For more information visit breastscreeningfacts.org.”
Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director of support charity Breast Cancer Care said: “Whilst there is currently no evidence of any misdiagnosis in this instance, a recall to a breast clinic can inevitably cause a great deal of anxiety for both patients and their families.
“We would hope that in such a rare instance, the hospital will see these patients as quickly as possible.”
Anyone worried about themselves or those close to them can seek support from Breast Cancer Care’s website www.breastcancercare.org.uk or free Helpline 0808 800 6000.