Thousands of scans reviewed in Jersey after doctor misses 14 breast cancer cases

  • ITV Channel reporter Emma Volney meets Sarah Traylen, one of 14 women whose breast cancer could have been detected earlier

At least 14 women have been misdiagnosed at Jersey Hospital after a radiologist failed to spot they had breast cancer, meaning significant delays in their treatment.

An independent review of 2,798 patient scans was carried out after a member of staff raised concerns about a radiologist's work.

All mammograms that had been read by the doctor since the start of their employment in 2019 have now been checked.

As well as the 14 missed breast cancer cases, 20 women have been invited for further tests as a precaution.

Officials stress that unless a patient has heard from Health and Community Services (HCS) in the past few days, this issue does not affect them.

The radiologist has not been named and is no longer carrying out mammogram or ultrasound tests.

However, they are still employed at the hospital under restricted duties, working on CT scans, MRI scans and X-ray diagnostics.

HCS says it has apologised to the women affected, including Sarah Traylen who needed surgery after long delays to her diagnosis.

She explains: "I went in a couple of years ago for a scan and was told everything was fine, so I didn't worry about it anymore after that.

"Then last year, I noticed a sharp pain in my breast so I contacted the hospital and my GP, went for a mammogram and waited for my results which is usually 10-14 days, and I was told I had cancer.

"Shoot back to last Thursday, I received a phone call from my consultant informing me that I had cancer since 2020. The radiologist at the time misdiagnosed me and read my results wrong."

Sarah Traylen speaks to ITV Channel reporter Emma Volney about her experience. Credit: ITV Channel

Sarah adds: "I am so lucky that it didn't spread and it didn't kill me and I am very concerned for the other ladies involved in this.

"People that are going to be left thinking, 'am I one of those numbers and am I alright?'"

"It's one of those things that I can't not think about. It's life or death, it's not a broken ankle or a broken bone. I am really quite in shock.

"I understand human error but not when it is playing with people's lives."

In response, Simon West, HCS Deputy Medical Director, says: "We have apologised to all those patients who have been recalled or who have had a delayed diagnosis and we will ensure they are all seen within the next few days.

"I am very sorry that this case may cause some anxiety but it indicates that our Freedom To Speak Up policy is working well and we commend the member of staff who raised this issue internally."

Jersey's former Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, went through breast cancer herself and wants a review of the department by the Royal College of Radiologists to be made public.

She explains: "What worries me about the way our health system is being overseen by the current minister is that this is, unfortunately, an example of cover-up culture where he doesn't prioritise women's issues and seems to think a five-month wait for a report is acceptable, it is not."

However, the minister in question, Deputy Tom Binet, believes the issue is being blown out of proportion.

He says: "No health service can ever offer a 100% success rate, there's always a margin for error and for people who fall within that margin for error, this is dreadful, but there always will be that margin for error.

"In this instance, the margin for error is no different to what you'd expect in any other health service across the Western world."

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