University Hospital Kerry has recalled 72 patients for a re-scan during review 11 months ago

University Hospital Kerry has recalled 72 patients for a re-scan during review

University Hospital Kerry is over three-quarters of the way through one of the largest medical reviews in Irish History.

University Hospital Kerry has recalled 72 patients for repeat scanning as of 11 January, after it was discovered in December 2017 that seven people had received a delayed cancer diagnosis over the previous five months.

In total, the hospital has been required to review over 46,000 images after management was notified back in July that staff had missed a cancer diagnosis. With two more patients presenting themselves in August, each being described as an obvious case of cancer, UHK management contacted the HSE to call for a review.

It was reported in December that all of the complaints pointed back to one specific consultant in the radiology department.

As of 11 January, the South/South-West Hospital Group has been able to confirm that 33,950 out of 46,235 images have been reviewed, which accounts for 73.4%. The number of patients whose scans have been reviewed is 20,367, or 76% out of a total of 26,756 individuals.

"All repeat imaging for the 72 recalled patients have been completed, four will require further follow-up", a spokesperson has confirmed.

Patients, whose CAT scans, x-rays and ultrasounds are under review are located in Kerry, North Cork and South Limerick.

On 19 December, it emerged that one patient developed an inoperable tumour because of a six month delay between the original misdiagnosis and the eventual discovery.

Questions still surround whether a single consultant, who worked at UHK for 16 months could be held responsible for incompetence on this scale, after the radiology consultant at St. James's Hospital, Dr. Niall Sheehy said that the average number of scans handled by a single doctor is between 7,000 and 15,000.

Siptu have publicly criticised the UHK radiology department, with a spokesperson describing it as a "very unhappy" place to work.