A number of women in Bucks have missed out on vital breast cancer screenings due to a national IT error, a health chief has warned.
Breast screening services in the county have been told to prepare for additional appointments, after it was revealed this week 450,000 women in England have missed out on potentially life-saving check-ups.
Chief executive of Bucks NHS Health Trust (BHT), Neil Macdonald, said “there will be women in Bucks impacted” by the failures, however exact figures are yet to be released.
Government health secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched an independent review into why women aged 68 to 71 did not receive invitations to a final routine screening.
Speaking at a meeting of Bucks County Council’s (BCC) health and wellbeing board on Thursday (May 3), Mr Macdonald said:
“BHT are the local provider for the screening service in the county, there will be women in Bucks who are impacted.
“We don’t hold that data and we will be informed soon numbers and who they are and we have been asked to start providing additional capacity in the breast screening unit to make sure we invite and catch up the screens for those women impacted as soon as possible.
“That is as much information we have at the moment, it is clearly worrying that there are women in Bucks impacted and we will make every effort to call them into the service as quickly as possible.”
Leader of the county council, Martin Tett, raised the issue at Thursday’s meeting, in a bid to establish how the errors will affect women in Bucks.
He said: “The issue of breast cancer screening has been covered extensively on last night’s news and I just think it is important that the health at wellbeing board, as the lead strategic group for health and wellbeing for the county, raises the issue on a Bucks perspective – what are the implications of this for Bucks?”
It was reported this week that up to 270 women may have lost their lives due to the failures – and Mr Hunt apologised “wholeheartedly” to those affected and their families.