Further to my piece on this distressing issue in May 2018, the Health Secretary has issued a Written Ministerial Statement updating the House of Commons on investigations that have taken place by officials at the Department of Health since this issue first broke.
I have summarised the Statement and please see below the key points:
- The number of women affected by the error in the NHS Breast Screening Programme has been revised down from an initial estimate of 450,000 to 174,000. 130,000 women from this lower figure are still alive.
- The Government estimates that 75 women may have had their lives tragically shortened as a result of this error and this has again been revised from between 135 and 270 women as originally announced.
- All women affected by the failing, living in the UK and who are registered with a GP received a letter by 18th May 2018. Working with Public Health England, 195,565 women in England were contacted. All women affected who had previously moved to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales were written to by 1st June 2018.
- By 1st June 2018, 26,774 women had received an appointment for screening and hundreds have already been screened. An additional 68,000 breast cancer screening appointments have been made available nationally.
- In South Derbyshire, 407 women have been affected.
- There is a telephone number for support and help: 0800 169 2692. It has received over 46,000 calls.
As I said at the time, I am keen to help those affected in any way I can. If you are a South Derbyshire resident and would like me to help then please email me with your full South Derbyshire address at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office on 01283 225 365.