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Missed cancer diagnosis widower criticises Southmead Hospital report

The husband of a woman who died after repeated failures to diagnose her cervical cancer says he is "convinced there are other victims out there".

Julie O'Connor was given the all-clear by doctors at Southmead Hospital in Bristol more than three years before a private doctor diagnosed her cancer. Mrs O'Connor and her husband Kevin later sued the hospital for its failings.

An independent report concluded there were "serious errors" and a failing by the trust to act urgently when it was discovered Mrs O'Connor did have advanced cervical cancer.

But Mr O'Connor criticised the report and said it did not cover the full length of his wife's cancer care. "It doesn't go back to 2014, it doesn't cover the smears, the biopsies and the missed clinical observations," he said. "We need to consider other victims, look further back, look back to 2014, and make sure we've got a safe and effective screening."

Prof Tim Whittlestone, North Bristol NHS Trust's acting deputy medical director, said: "We are determined to learn from this and have made significant changes to the way we examine and test for cervical cancer, which I am confident will detect and prevent more cases in future."

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Source: BBC News, 16 October 2019


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