The Injury Lawyers are investigating the breaking news that hundreds of women may have died in an NHS breast cancer screening scandal.
Women aged between 68 and 71 who were supposed to have received a letter inviting them for lifesaving breast cancer screening never received their invitations because of an IT glitch that happened in 2009.
The glitch was discovered in January this year, and the government believes that as many as 270 people have died as a result of not having breast cancer screening, and these deaths may be linked to the glitch.
The NHS Breast Cancer Screening Scandal
Women in England aged between 50 and 70 are routinely invited for breast cancer screening. Public Health England recognises this higher risk group which means the NHS can target women for periodic screening and save lives.
Tragically, due to a computer glitch that happened in 2009 that was only discovered almost a decade on, around half a million women did not receive their invitation for lifesaving breast cancer screening.
Who is affected?
It’s believed that 150,000 of the women who should have been invited for breast cancer screening have since passed away. The government believes that as many as 270 died as a direct result of not undergoing lifesaving breast cancer screening, which may have been because they never received their invitation.
The total number of women who did not receive their invitations for screening is thought to be around 450,000.
How did this happen?
An IT algorithm glitch resulted in the affected women not receiving their invitations. The glitch happened in 2009, affecting women aged between 68 and 71.
The government has accepted that this error occurred because of “administrative incompetence”, although it’s also been revealed that Public Health England identified the problem in January this year but did not act immediately on the discovery.
Is there a legal cause of action for victims and their families?
Women who did not receive their breast cancer screening invitation and went on, or have gone on, to develop breast cancer may have a cause of legal action. If the person is one of those who has since passed away, and the death was caused because of not being invited for lifesaving breast cancer screening, the families of those victims may have a cause of action.
In short, anyone affected who did not undergo breast cancer screening because their invitation was never sent out as a direct result of the breach may have a case.
Advice from The Injury Lawyers
We have represented victims in some of the biggest medical actions in the UK. We helped a large group of women who had to claim for the PIP Breast implant scandal, as well as advising and representing women affected by the ongoing vaginal mesh implant problems.
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IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.