Mother-of-three's terminal lung cancer three-year diagnosis delay made 'significant reduction in her life expectancy'
Over three years Noreen Wileman suffered symptoms including painful muscles and joints, coughing up blood, shortness of breath and green sputum until she was finally diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in December 2018.
The 68-year-old was told she had an abnormality after a chest X-ray in March 2015, at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and visited for a CT scan, in May the same year, which also showed an irregularity but no further up scan was arranged.
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Richard's, has now acknowledged that had further scans been arranged in 2015, on the balance of probabilities, Noreen’s cancer would have been diagnosed by January 2016, some 35 months before it was.
It also admitted that with an earlier diagnosis, Noreen would also have avoided a significant reduction in her life expectancy.
Noreen, a former housekeeper, said: ‘When I started attending hospital appointments in 2015 I was slightly concerned but at no point was I ever given the impression that anything major was wrong with me.
‘When I was given the news I had cancer I was in complete shock.’
Noreen instructed medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care.
Eleanor Phipp, who is representing her, said: ‘While worrying issues have been admitted in Noreen’s case, it is vital people continue to seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity if they are concerned about their symptoms.
‘We hope that all lessons possible can now be learned to improve patient care and will continue to support Noreen and her family at this emotional time.’
Noreen, from Bognor Regis, added: ‘The worst part for me has been seeing how my family are suffering and how they’re watching me all the time.
‘I’m not sure what the future will hold for me and my family but I just hope that by speaking out I can help others. People need to see a doctor as soon as possible if they think there’s something wrong with them, ensure they receive their results, and if needs be, don’t take no for an answer and seek a second opinion.’