Patients received wrong treatment after scans error at Sunderland hospital

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MORE than 3,300 patients’ scans have had to be reviewed at Sunderland Royal Hospital over concerns about a radiologist’s work.

The review, costing the Trust £80,000, discovered errors in the cases of 29 patients, who were either discharged with an incorrect medical report or were undergoing treatment they did not need.

City Hospitals Sunderland medical director Les Boobis today apologised for the mistakes, which have left people distressed and anxious.

The review looked at more than 3,000 MRI and CT scans, after a higher error rate was revealed in an audit into a consultant radiologist’s work.

People affected had muscular-skeletal and neuroradiology conditions, such as spinal, back, neck and muscle injuries.

No patients were misdiagnosed with serious conditions as a result of the errors, the review found.

The radiologist no longer works for the trust, bosses confirmed.

Of the 3,335 scans reviewed, taken from January 2010 to December 2011, 174 cases have now been professionally re-examined.

Mr Boobis said he has directly contacted the 29 patients affected by the errors, and that the trust has been working closely with the Royal College of Radiologists over the matter.

“Steps were taken to ensure patients were no longer put at risk,” he added.

“Anybody who has had a CT or MRI scan since at the hospital since January 1, 2012, need not worry.

“We have made sure that the changes have been recognised on their reports.”

Carol Harris, director of corporate affairs at the Royal, said: “The issue here for us was around patient safety.

“We acknowledged that we had a problem and took steps to rectify that.”

The trust typically carries out more than 12,000 MRI and 23,000 CT scans each year.

“We want to reassure local people that we have taken this matter very seriously and conducted a detailed and thorough investigation,” added Mr Boobis. 
 “The quality and safety of our service to patients is of paramount important to the trust.

“Our key concern is to reassure patients who have had scans with us, and to sincerely apologise for the distress and anxiety that this will have undoubtedly caused.”

All patients who were affected have now been contacted by the trust, but those who have further concerns or questions should call the organisation on 541 0008 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

l Are you one of the patients affected? Call our newsdesk on 501 7208.

Twitter: @davidallison88