Heartbroken widower describes horror of breast cancer screening error

A widower from Norfolk fears his wife may have been among those whose lives were cut short due to the breast cancer screening fiasco.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted the "administrative incompetence" may have affected 450,000 women and that up to 270 women may have died prematurely.

Heartbroken Brian Gough says his wife Trixie never received a letter inviting her to go for routine screening in 2009.

A scan a year later revealed she had Stage Three breast cancer, too late to treat.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched an independent review after revealing the computer error dating back to 2009 meant many women aged 68 to 71 were not invited to their final routine screening.

Women in England between the ages of 50 and 70 are currently automatically invited for breast cancer screening every three years because the risk of breast cancer increases with age.

As many as 450,000 women could have been affected. Credit: PA

Of those who missed invitations, 309,000 are estimated to still be alive and all those living in the UK who are registered with a GP will be contacted before the end of May.

All women who were not sent an invitation for their final screening will be given the opportunity to have a new appointment.

Those under the age of 72 will receive an appointment letter informing them of the time and date, while those over 72 will also be offered a screening and have access to a helpline to decide if it will be beneficial.

  • The helpline for those who think they may be affected is 0800 169 2692