QA Hospital to help NHS rectify breast screening computer error

Breast cancer screening
Breast cancer screening
QA Hospital, Cosham

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A COMPUTER error which saw nearly half a million women across the UK miss breast cancer screenings could cause problems for Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Mark Cubbon, chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust which runs QA in Cosham, told the trust board meeting they needed to find extra space to accommodate those women.

We are looking very quickly how we can support every single avenue to make sure we have enough capacity in place for the women who have been missed.

Mark Cubbon

As reported, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced on Wednesday that a computer error dating back to 2009 meant many women aged 68 to 71 were not invited to their final routine screening.

An independent review has been launched.

Speaking at Thursday’s board meeting Mr Cubbon said: ‘We were informed yesterday, as a number of other trusts were, that we are going to need to add some additional capacity to accommodate a number of women who may have been affected by this issue.

‘We are still waiting to find out more national details on the exact number of patients that will be.

‘We are looking at how we can build up capacity. At the moment, we do have some issues with the capacity to run the services and the number of women who need to access it.

‘We are looking very quickly how we can support every single avenue to make sure we have enough capacity in place for the women who have been missed.’

Women in England between the ages of 50 and 70 are currently automatically invited for breast cancer screening every three years.

Around 450,000 women have been affected by the error and it is estimated that between 135 and 270 women had their lives shortened as a result.

Mr Hunt said: ‘I am advised that it is unlikely to be more than this range and may be considerably less.

‘However, tragically there are likely to be some people in this group who would have been alive today if the failure had not happened.’