Shropshire health bosses investigating breast cancer screening IT error

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A major IT error that affected hospitals in the United Kingdom beginning in 2009 caused as many as 450,000 patients between the ages of 68 and 71 to miss breast cancer screenings, which could have resulted in up to 270 deaths, The Guardian reports.

It was reported this week that up to 270 women may have lost their lives due to the failures - and Mr Hunt apologised "wholeheartedly" to those affected and their families.

A spokesman for the firm added: 'They are using information and advice provided by Public Health England and are required to collect details of women who believe they have missed screening, so they can be contacted by health professionals, and to set out the options available.

Chief executive of Bucks NHS Health Trust (BHT), Neil Macdonald, said "there will be women in Bucks impacted" by the failures, however exact figures are yet to be released.

The call handlers responding to the Government's breast cancer screening hotline have no medical training and are simply relying on a "cheat sheet" of symptoms, according to reports.

"We know this will unfortunately be incredibly hard news for many women to hear".

"For those women who will have gone on to develop breast cancers that could have been picked up earlier through screening, this is a devastating error".

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"It is beyond belief that this major mistake has been sustained for nearly a decade and we need to know why this has been allowed to happen".

"Women affected and their loved ones will be left reeling, both scared and confused".

"This incompetence must not be allowed to happen again".

Ms Baczkowska said even is screening may not have saved her mother's life, it could have extended it, which she said would have been "very valuable" because she made the most of life.

Breast cancer screening is offered to all women aged 50 to 70 in England every three years; they are sent invitation letters to make an appointment for the test.

"We are shocked to learn that hundreds of thousands of women in England have missed out on their opportunity for breast screening - and the implications for Global Positioning System and our teams will potentially be significant, as patients seek reassurance and to find out where they go from here".

'We are looking at how we can build up capacity.

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