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Women recalled after cancer testing fault at Ormskirk hospital

 Biopsy machine ‘programming  error’ blamed

Ormskirk hospital

Women being tested for breast cancer have been called back after a biopsy machine was found to faulty.

Ormskirk and District General Hospital has had to review more than 100 patients.

The news comes as Cancer Research UK revealed that half of people diagnosed with cancer will survive for more than a decade, in part thanks to early screening and detection.

Jonathan Parry, the hospital’s chief executive, admitted the news was concerning and apologised to the women concerned.

He said: “The trust has become aware of a programming issue with a machine used for taking biopsies.

“The procedure is used to remove a small sample of breast tissue for analysis where an abnormality is identified following a mammogram. A panel of consultants and breast specialist nurses has reviewed the records of 117 patients.

“The panel concluded that there was no cause for concern in the majority of patients. However, we are inviting back 14 patients as a precaution.

“Our breast care specialists assure me risk to these patients is low.

“Each patient had their case reviewed at least once by a panel of specialist doctors.

“This process, which is part of our routine breast care service, has ensured the number of patients requiring further investigation has been kept to a minimum.

“I know this news will be deeply concerning for the women concerned and I am very sorry for the unnecessary worry we have caused them.

“The trust has established an internal review group to investigate and report to the board on the circumstances surrounding what has happened. It will be chaired by the executive medical director and supported by independent experts. We are also working closely with our commissioners, the NHS Trust Development Authority, NHS England, the Care Quality Commission and the Royal College of Radiologists, to ensure any lessons we learn can be shared more widely.”

Southport’s Liberal Democrat MP, John Pugh, said: “It is good that the hospital has owned up in a timely way to this error but it’s worrying that there are 117 people potentially affected.

“Breast cancer is a fear every woman has got and ‘programming error’ tell us little about what has gone wrong. We need to know what human errors are at the root of this.”

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