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Another cancer blunder

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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Once again the NHS is in the news this week, this time for incorrectly diagnosing cancer.
Mr Collins is set to sue the NHS following the incorrect diagnosis which he claims has now ruined his life.
The ordeal started in 2008 when he underwent a scan at Dorset Hospital which revealed an enlarged gall bladder. The clinician diagnosed advanced inoperable cancer that had spread to his liver and he was given just 6 months to live. 
Mr Collins decided to enjoy what he thought to be his final months; he quit his job and spent £18,000 of his pension on a new motorbike and a car for his wife. Mrs Collins also stopped work to take care of her husband during his ‘final days’ and Mr Collins even planned his own funeral.
In 2009, 12 months after his diagnosis, Mr Collins underwent further tests which revealed that there had been a mistake in his original diagnosis and in fact the ‘tumour’ that had been identified 12 months earlier was in fact a relatively harmless abscess.
Although Mr Collins is said to be happy that the original diagnosis was wrong, the powerful drugs that he had been taking to ‘keep him alive’ have now ruined his health and he is no longer able to work.
A spokesperson for Dorset Hospital has apologised for the error and admitted that the diagnosis was made before all of the test results had been examined. Apparently practices have now been reviewed to ensure that doctors use all of the information available before reaching a decision.
As a Claimant clinical negligence solicitor I have several cases involving mistakes in cancer treatment and I am fully aware of the consequences such mistakes can have on clients and their families. I believe that clients deserve assurance that errors such as this will be fully investigated and changes put in place to prevent mistakes in cancer treatment happening in the future.


By clinical negligence solicitor Claire Stockley