NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chief Executive Tom Divers today welcomed the report by the two experts who led the external clinical review of the Inverclyde Royal Hospital breast cancer service.
The Review was called for by the NHSGGC Board in June 2007 in light of concerns that the assessment and diagnosis of possible breast cancer symptoms may not have routinely followed best practice standards.
Mr Divers said: “The Report highlights that the expert external team regard many aspects of the Inverclyde service as being both innovative and of a high quality although it also identifies a few areas requiring improvement.
“Some of these issues have already been addressed such as recruitment to the Clyde breast service in surgery, radiology and oncology. Other aspects of the report findings will be taken forward by the Clyde breast team and the West of Scotland Cancer Network.
“I would like to thank Professor Thompson and Professor George, who led the External Review, for their detailed review and final report.”
The external review followed an internal clinical review which examined the case notes of all patients who attended the Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s breast clinic in the previous 18 months.
As a result of this internal review, 198 patients were recalled to specially set-up rapid access clinics. Four of those patients chose not to return for review. From the remaining 194 patients, four women were confirmed as requiring further assessment and treatment for newly confirmed breast cancers.
At that time it remained unclear if any of these newly diagnosed cancers would have been detectable when the patients first presented up to 18 months earlier.
The External Review has now looked closely into all aspects of the service and has concluded that two of the women were “managed appropriately”.
It was the view of the External Reviewers that for the other two patients, “a more stringent diagnostic approach may have led to an earlier diagnosis”.
Crucially the External Reviewers do not expect that the outcome for either of these two cases will have been prejudiced by the diagnostic delay.
While this recall of 198 patients caused significant anxiety to these women and their families, the Review findings confirm that this course of action was appropriate and necessary at the time.
Dr Brian Cowan, Medical Director for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “I am reassured that current and future patients can have confidence in a first class service in keeping with the very high standards of care delivered throughout the West of Scotland.”
Note to editors:
Miss Katherine Krupa, Consultant Surgeon, will now lead the Breast Service at Inverclyde Royal Hospital. Miss Krupa is currently on maternity leave and until her return in six months time, the service will be led by respected and experienced breast surgeon, David Smith, previously of Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary.
Both an executive summary and the full report from Professor Alistair Thompson of the University of Dundee and Professor David George of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are available on NHSGGC’s website via the following link
Neither professor is available for comment beyond their report findings.
For further information, contact the NHSGGC Press Office on 0141 201 4429.