The Care Quality Commission (“the CQC”) has recently performed a review of health care services in England and has found that some patients are having to wait up to 21 days to receive results of x-rays and scans.

As part of their review, the CQC requested data from all 151 health trusts in England to disclose their own targets for reporting radiology. The results identified significant disparities between each trust on how long is taken to provide radiology results to patients.

For cases assessed as urgent, radiology reporting varied between two and five working days. In A&E’s across England, there was a range between one hour and two working days and finally, for GP referrals, the range was between 24 hours and 21 days. Commenting on these variations, Cancer Research UK have said that delays of this kind are worrying as radiology scans are crucial in diagnosing many types of cancer.

The CQC have explained that a leading factor in causing such significant delays is a lack of radiologists within the health system and an inability to meet demand. Despite this, the CQC have called for national standards to be implemented in an attempt to eradicate delays and backlogs.

Concerns were raised after three trusts, namely Worcester Royal Hospital, Kettering General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth have been found to be putting patients at risk due to their delays in reporting radiology.

The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker has said that the implementation of national standards on radiology reporting will “…allow trusts to monitor and benchmark their own performances - and ensure that, for example, patients are not put at risk by delays in their x-ray results being reported to the clinician responsible for their care."

For further information on this report, please see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44871476

Freeths’ Clinical Negligence Solicitors have a national reputation for providing the highest quality advice in light of negligent treatment and the impact of delays in radiology results being interpreted and reported. If you are concerned about any treatment or medication which you or a loved one have received, please contact one of our national team:-

Siobhan Genever, Director (Nottingham) on 0845 271 6793 or siobhan.genever@freeths.co.uk

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 or carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke) on 0845 272 5677 or karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester) on 0845 272 5724 or jane.williams@freeths.co.uk

For further information please also visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/