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Thousands more could be at risk, legal expert warns

27/06/2017

The care of thousands of NHS patients could still be at risk from a 'colossal blunder' which saw more than 700,000 pieces of medical correspondence go missing.

Tim Gray, Head of FBC Manby Bowdler’s Personal Injury team said thousands more people may have been harmed than the initial 1,700 patients identified so far by the National Audit Office.

A third of the documents, which included test results including those looking for evidence of cancer, are still to be assessed.

The National Audit Office is investigating the loss of the documents by the NHS Shared Business Service. It said: “NHS England and NHS SBS have reviewed just under 709,000 items of unprocessed correspondence,”

“As of 31 May 2017, the review of the backlog of correspondence has found 1,788 cases of potential harm to patients.”

Tim said: "The NAO is right to call this a colossal blunder, but it is more than that. It is a failure to keep thousands of patients from harm. It has caused untold distress to at least 1,700 people and there may be thousands more as the extent of the full damage is not yet known.

"The loss of these documents led to delays in diagnosis, missed appointments, patients being taken off waiting lists and failing to attend appointments they knew nothing about."

"We would urge anyone who is affected and needs further support to contact us to see if we can help."

The full report can be found here

For further advice, please contact Tim on 01902 393474 or t.gray@fbcmb.co.uk.

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