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Blunder at Central Middlesex Hospital leaves 6,000 patients at risk

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 July 2012

Central Middlesex Hospital

Central Middlesex Hospital

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Radiology results were left on the IT system at the hospital’s Urgent Care Centre

Six thousand patients were put at risk of not being properly diagnosed because their X-rays were not processed by a private company on behalf of Central Middlesex Hospital.

The blunder occurred when a member of staff noticed there were 5,978 radiology results sitting on the IT system at the hospital’s Urgent Care Centre, which is run by Care UK.

Out of the thousands of cases, 1,564 were children, sparking fears that they might have needed to have been referred to child protection as a result of their injuries. Every case had to be reviewed and checked against Child Protection Registers in three boroughs including Brent.

Disaster

The revelation has been documented in a Brent Council report which was presented at a Town Hall meeting last week, after the blunder come to light in March.

No one from Care UK attended the meeting.

The report comes at a time when NHS North West London announced plans to close the hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit.

Sarah Cox, from campaign group Brent Fightback, said: “It is incredibly worrying that children’s X-rays have not been processed. The report is also very dismissive. It just shows how privatisation of the NHS is a disaster.”

The urgent care centre is a 24-hour, 365-day service ran by Care UK set up to treat minor injuries. It is completely separate to the A&E which is now only open during the daytime.

A Care UK spokesman said: “As soon as the matter came to light, we immediately implemented the correct process and enlisted support from a panel of clinicians to make sure that all x-ray reports were reviewed as quickly as possible.

“This was completed in June. We also worked closely with the NHS and local authority colleagues to introduce a more sophisticated way of checking whether children are on a child protection register when they first arrive at the urgent care centre. “

An NHS spokesman added: “Care UK has responded to these concerns and an Action Plan has been implemented to address them completely. NHS Brent is confident that the provider has improved its management and operations in relation to safeguarding children.”


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