Hundreds of patients with potential cancer symptoms were not offered a second appointment by the Liverpool NHS Trust and an investigation is underway into what happened at the trust
It has emerged that about 1,800 people were not contacted for a second consultation if they did not attend the first date by Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust between May 2021 and May 2022.
Following National guidance, a second booking should happen automatically. The Trust has reported the issue as a serious incident.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the matter became public knowledge after minutes were published from a board meeting of the trust.
The patients involved were on the two-week referral pathway – which is a request from a GP for an urgent hospital appointment as they have potential cancer symptoms.
The meeting minutes outlined that the trust’s investigation found that the lack of referral presents the risk that the patients could need to be reviewed by a specialist and their GP may not be aware.
Out of the original 1,800 patients who may not have been offered a second appointment due to an administrative error, the trust’s executive medical director Dr Jim Gardner, said the trust has now reviewed 1,200 patients.
He said that the Trust was confident that no further action was required in 950 of those cases while the initial analysis of the 600 remaining cases is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
He said; “We will contact all patients and their GPs who require a follow-up appointment directly. We take all safety incidents seriously and we are extremely sorry for the concern this may cause our patients and their families. We have reported this as a serious incident with the Care Quality Commission and NHS England and Improvement and will be working closely with them to ensure oversight of our investigations.”
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The inquest is expected to continue for the rest of the week and is being held before a jury.