Hospital trust closes its review of cancer patients but investigation goes on following admin blunder

All patients affected by an administrative error that meant those with cancer symptoms were not offered a second appointment if they missed their first one have now been contacted.

West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust launched a probe after the blunder was discovered and an external investigation headed up by a former NHS chief executive who specialises in patient safety has begun and is expected to report back this summer.

The error affected 810 people between January 2010 and November 2013. Of those 686 were told in February that their were no clinical concerns about their care.

Hospital bosses also met with the family of a patient who has since died and it is the trust’s clinical view that a delay in seeing the person may have contributed to their death. Another patient whose diagnosis was delayed due to the proper process not being followed has also been met with. However, their cancer was still at the earliest stage.

Another 121 cases were still being looked into and the trust this week has announced that all of those patients have now been contacted to say there are no clinical concerns about the care they received.

Chief executive Samantha Jones said: “I would like to apologise again for any unnecessary distress we have caused.

“In addition, I would like to reiterate that we have made significant changes to help prevent this type of error happening again.”