The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has produced a timely report entitled Unlocking Solutions in Imaging: working together to learn from failings in the NHS, which includes what the PHSO has learned from complaints that raise significant concerns about patient safety.
In letters to the Minister for Patient Safety and to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Rob Behrens, the Chair of the PHSO confirmed that the report has been written to support and encourage NHS staff, leaders, and policy-makers to deliver safer care for patients. Rob Behrens has requested support from the Minister and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee to ensure that the improvements recommended in the report are prioritised.
The Failing and improvements recommended
Failings highlighted in the report include:
- failure to follow national guidelines on reporting unexpected imaging findings
- failure to act on important unexpected findings
- delays in reporting imaging findings
- failure to learn from past mistakes
According to the report, these failings led to missed opportunities for earlier diagnoses of cancer and an avoidable death. Crucially, the cases show that these issues are not isolated to radiologists, radiographers, or imaging services, but relate to the whole system. The investigations found that failings often resulted from an absence of adequate policies, processes, and digital reporting capabilities.
The report has been welcomed by the Royal College of Radiologists as its purpose is to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen again.
We know that there are unprecedented pressures on the NHS with about 5 million people currently waiting for elective care in the NHS as it recovers from the pandemic. Unfortunately there have been avoidable delays which mean that some patients will have had a late diagnosis of cancer or other serious illness which will have caused them serious and permanent harm.
We understand how devastating a diagnosis of cancer can be, not only for you, but also for your family. You will be worried about what the future holds for you and your family, particularly if you feel that the cancer could have been picked up sooner.
Although many cancers are now treatable, early detection is key to a successful outcome. So if there has been a delay in the diagnosis of the cancer, or if you feel that you have lost a family member because of a delay in their diagnosis, then we may be able to help you.
Find out more about how we can help with cancer claims, celay in cancer diagnosis, problems with cancer treatment, and compensation calculations.
How can Tozers help?
We are acting for a number of patients whose care has been affected by failings within imaging services. If you or your family have suffered because of medical negligence, we’ll help you to rebuild your life for the future. Contact us today and let us help you.