US News: Computer glitch causes 1,700 Scottish women to miss breast cancer screening - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Computer glitch causes 1,700 Scottish women to miss breast cancer screening

19:00  13 september  2018
19:00  13 september  2018 Source:   inews.co.uk

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More than 1 , 700 Scottish women have missed crucial breast cancer screening appointments over the past three years due to a computer glitch , ministers have admitted. Problems with the NHS‘s automated system that sends letters to patients inviting them to be screened meant that the women

More than 1 , 700 Scottish women have missed crucial breast cancer screening appointments over the past three years due to a computer glitch , ministers have admitted. ALMOST 1 ,800 women in Scotland have missed vital breast cancer screening appointments because of a computer glitch .

a screen shot of a computer monitor sitting on top of a television © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

More than 1,700 Scottish women have missed crucial breast cancer screening appointments over the past three years due to a computer glitch, ministers have admitted.

Problems with the NHS's automated system that sends letters to patients inviting them to be screened meant that the women were accidentally ignored, the Scottish Government said.

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The issue, described as a potentially “devastating error” by a leading cancer charity, resulted in 1,761 women aged over 70 failing to be offered their final appointments.

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ALMOST 1 ,800 women in Scotland have missed vital breast cancer screening appointments because of a computer glitch . Problems with the NHS's automated system that sends letters to patients inviting them to be screened meant they were accidentally ignored.

Breast cancer screening : Scottish ministers warned two years ago. 12 months ago. 1 year ago. Breast cancer screening failure: ‘My wife missed the weddings of her grandchildren because she was too ill.’

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman apologised to all those affected and accepted it would be a "worrying time" for the women involved, who are now being offered urgent scans.

a woman wearing a black shirt © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd Women in Scotland are normally invited to come forward for the screening checks, which are carried out to detect breast cancer before symptoms are noticed, between the ages of 50 and 70.

But delays in the automated computer system meant that the affected women had turned 71 by the time it reached them. It then failed to flag that they had not had their final appointment.

The problem was discovered after checks were made following the announcement by Public Health England in May that 450,000 women had not been invited to final screenings since 2009.

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Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer . The American Cancer Society has screening guidelines for women at average risk of breast cancer , and for those at high risk for breast cancer .

The then UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said up to 270 women in England may have had their lives shortened due to the failures.

'Worrying'

The 1,761 figure only relates to women who are still alive, with the Scottish Government unable to say how many in the same age cohort had since died.

“It is completely unacceptable that so many women have not received the screening invitations they need, at a time when they may be most at risk of breast cancer,” said Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of the Breast Cancer Now charity.

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“For any women that may have gone on to develop breast cancers that could have been picked up earlier through screening, this could be a devastating error.”

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HUNDREDS of women may have died after an NHS computer glitch meant 450,000 women were not Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death for British women - and the Health bosses are trying to contact 309,000 women who missed screening scans because of computer

Breast cancer screening is the medical screening of asymptomatic, apparently healthy women for breast cancer in an attempt to achieve an earlier diagnosis.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of early diagnosis, described the announcement as “worrying” but said it was important not to cause “undue anxiety”.

“The great majority of breast cancers are still diagnosed by women finding a lump or noticing other symptoms and going to their GP,” she added.

The delays to the automated system are being urgently investigated, with manual checks being done in the meantime to ensure that no more women are missed.

Ms Freeman said: “I know this will be a worrying time for the women affected and I apologise fully for any distress caused.

“The women are being contacted as a priority and resources have been put in place to ensure they are screened promptly and offered any wider support needed.

“This additional screening will not delay other women attending their routine appointments. I have been clear that we must learn from this and act to minimise the risk of similar incidents in future.”

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