Hospital says it is working to scan women within fortnight

Dr Tony Berendt

Dr Tony Berendt

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

DOCTORS hope to scan all 30 women being recalled over fears about breast cancer tests within the next fortnight.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUHT) said it was working as quickly as possible to give the women – contacted because there are fears tests telling them they were not in danger of the disease may have been wrong – definitive answers.

As revealed in yesterday’s Oxford Mail, the trust launched a serious incident investigation after it discovered five women had developed breast cancer several months after they had screenings and additional assessments.

After these cases came to light 626 women, who had been screened and then had additional tests by the same doctor, between May 2011 and March 2014 were reviewed by National Breast Screening Service experts. And of those OUHT said it is concerned about 30 women.

They have now been invited to come in to hospital over the next two weeks.

If there’s a problem, they will be given the necessary treatment but the trust has said it hoped the majority would not need it.

Dr Tony Berendt, the trust’s interim medical director, said: “We are obviously extremely sorry that we have had to recall these women and we have done it in order to be absolutely confident that the assessments they had were as thorough as possible.

“It is possible that there is nothing found in any of them but we cannot say at this stage.

“We are making changes about the way assessments are read and discussed. What happens then will depend on the results of the full investigation.”

Andrew Smith, the MP for Oxford East, said he wished all the women the best.

He added: “It is good that the hospital’s review has picked this up and action is being taken, but the fact that this has been necessary, and especially the five instances of cancer which triggered the recall, raises serious questions about why the additional tests were not undertaken on the previous scan.

“Women need to able to rely on the screening service as putting into practice the best standards, and the public will want to be assured that this has now been done.”

All women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for breast screening every three years and in the last three years 73,029 women in Oxfordshire have had mammogram screenings.

A telephone helpline has been set up on 01865 227000 to respond to patients’ concerns and GPs have been informed.

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