Cancers missed in Wexford Hospital Colonoscopies
I wrote back in March 2016 on cancer misdiagnosis in Wexford General Hospital. (The blog is on our website for those who have not read it and wish to do so).
At the time, there had been newspaper reports on a leaked review of twelve cases of bowel cancer “missed” at Wexford General Hospital. We know that at least one of these patients has died of the illness since then.
The twelve patients were identified from a recall from six hundred patients who had received colonoscopies (an investigation of the large bowel) at Wexford General Hospital in 2013 and 2014.
The recall of the six hundred patients at Wexford General Hospital followed the identification of two patients in October/November 2014 with interval cancer – a cancer that is detected between bowel screenings. This raised question marks about the quality of the screening which in turn triggered the recall and a review by Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) under which Wexford General Hospital is now managed.
In March, I expressed the view that it was unacceptable that the report of the IEHG had not yet been published and was typical of the foot dragging by the HSE which the Medical Negligence Department of Cantillons Solicitors see day after day in our work.
I have now read Paul Cullen’s article on the Irish Times website that the final review of the incident will be published today. This is to be welcomed, though it would appear from Mr. Cullen’s article that the contents of same will make for some very distressing reading, particularly, for the people affected by the negligence at Wexford General Hospital.
I have no doubt that the delay in publishing the report has added to the distress of the victims and their families. Why did it take some two years and three months for the report to be published? Once again, this debacle underlines the need for a statutory duty of disclosure here in Ireland. A statutory duty of disclosure is simply a responsibility on hospital, medical and nursing staff to tell the truth to patients when there has been a mistake.
Will lessons be learned from this latest debacle? Will anyone be held to account?
Sadly, given the HSE’s track record to date, I am not optimistic.
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