1. ITV Report

Breast cancer survivor demands answers over screening failure

Breast cancer survivor Mauveen Stone from Martock is demanding answers over the screening scandal. Credit: ITV West Country

An 85-year-old woman from Somerset is among women and their families caught up in the breast screening failure demanding answers as to how hundreds of patients may have had their lives cut short.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched an independent review after he revealed a computer error dating back to 2009 meant many women aged 68 to 71 in England were not invited to their final routine screening.

He admitted 450,000 women could be affected, and that between 135 and 270 women could have had their lives shortened as a result.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said it was a “colossal systemic failure”.

Mauveen Stone from Martock was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. She has only ever had one mammogram, in 1995, and when she told her doctor he said she was one of those who slipped through the net.

Women between 50 and 70 should be invited for mammograms every three years. Credit: ITV News

Women aged between 50 and 70 are supposed to be invited to have a mammogram every three years. But a computer programme failure meant around 450,000 women in England failed to get screened.

Up to 270 women are feared to have died as a direct result of missing these screening invitations. It's left Mrs Stone extremely angry.

It could have happened to me as well. I could have been the same as those women. It wasn't offered to me and I didn't have it.

When I think of the injustice that's been done to these women because they were not told to go back to have a check-up. It should have been offered to them and it wasn't and they could be alive and well and that's what's made me angry.

– Mauveen Stone, Breast cancer survivor
300,000 women will now be invited for the breast screenings they should have had. Credit: PA

The NHS now has the task of contacting 300,000 women to offer them the screening they should have had.

Like other women, Mrs Stone wants answers. She asks "What went wrong? What happened? Why did it happen? Make sure it never ever happens again.

Mauveen Stone is now free of cancer. But she knows her family could have lost a mother - like thousands of others who failed to be screened.