Press Release

Statement by Minister for Health and Children , Mary Harney T.D. on Review of Chest XRays and CT Scans at Louth/ Meath Hospitals

The Minister for Health and Children , Mary Harney T.D. said today(November 4th, 2008) : “The Health Service Executive today published the Report of the Review of Chest X-Rays and CT Scans reported by a locum consultant radiologist at Louth Meath Hospitals from August 2006 to August 2007. Examinations of 4,936 patients were reviewed.

“The Review found that nine patients in Drogheda and Navan hospitals had their diagnosis of lung cancer delayed as a result of radiological missed diagnosis. Eight of these patients are deceased”. The Minister extended her sympathies to the families of these patients.

“The 9 patients had been identified and diagnosed prior to March 2008. The review did not therefore find any other delayed diagnosis of lung cancers.

“As a result of this review the HSE, the Department of Health and the Faculty of Radiology of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland are engaging to develop an agreed protocol and guidance around complaints of error in radiology.”

The Minister welcomed this engagement. “It is important that we have expert guidance on when reviews are necessary, how they should be carried out and what can be achieved by them”.

She also welcomed the fact that the HSE is making clinical governance a priority in the wider hospital system and will recruit a new National Director of Clinical Care in 2009.