Breast cancer care changes brought in

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Three women were diagnosed with breast cancer after inspectors raised concerns about biopsy rates at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

The inspectors acted due to a lack of cases being referred on for needle biopsies.

A report to the trust’s governing body said 42 women were called back for repeat tests after inspectors made their observations in April 2012.

The ‘serious incident’ came to light after a routine visit from a health watchdog revealed concerns about the low numbers of women being referred on for needle biopsies in the breast screening programme at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Trust bosses said changes to breast cancer biopsy procedures have since been made.

The following month another ‘quality assurance’ visit also found the trust’s detection and biopsy rates were lower than expected.

A trust spokeswoman said the three women found to have cancer after second screenings, had been treated and all had responded well with good prognoses.

Hospital bosses said changes to the breast screening team’s processes, and how information is reported, had been made.

Recommendations following a review included:

Increasing the biopsy rate

n Greater multi-disciplinary assessment and decision making.

n A pre-screening team brief to be introduced.

n Improvements to be made to documentation linked with the breast screening programme.

Trust deputy medical director Ray Cuschieri said two full reviews were carried out, one by an independent expert radiologist

He said: “These reviews showed that in this instance there was no evidence that any of the women had experienced harm as a result of not having a needle biopsy.”

Women called for assessment are at higher-than-average risk of breast cancer, he said, adding: “The practice around assessment for needle biopsy rate had already changed since the women involved in this review were initially seen.”

■ Women are being urged to donate unwanted bras and £2 to raise charity cash.

Bras can be put in pink bins in Bawtry shops including & She Knows, Robinsons of Bawtry and Elite Hair & Nails until October 17. Funds will be split between Aurora and Breast Cancer Care.