The waiting time for women being referred to the University Hospitals of the Royal Derby and Burton NHS Trust (UHDB) for breast cancer screening has been described as "extremely concerning" by the now merged charity Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now.

It has been reported that in June this year, 449 patients were referred to the Hospital Trust for urgent review but 361 (around 80%) were not seen within the recommended two week referral time.

The Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group has published papers which have confirmed that the average number of monthly referrals to the UHDB for breast related issues - including cases of suspected cancer - has increased by 31% each year for the past two years. The increase in the number of referrals being made makes the failure to see patients within the two-week timeframe even more worrying.

Mike Goodwin, Divisional Director of Cancer, Diagnostics and Clinical Support at the UHDB, has said in response to the findings that a number of initiatives have been introduced to manage the increase in demand, including “providing extra outpatient clinics at our breast units at the Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital Burton.”

According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 7 women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

Some of the signs of breast cancer include;

  • change in breast size or shape
  • constant pain in the breast or armpit
  • change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling

Gunes Kalkan, of Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now has stated;

"It is critical that women are given a definitive answer as soon as possible, to either provide peace of mind or allow them to begin treatment at the earliest stage."

Freeths solicitors have considerable experience in representing and securing settlements for clients in cases where there has been a delay in diagnosis of cancer and other serious conditions.

If you are concerned about care which you or a loved one have received, please contact a member of our national team for a free, informal discussion;

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham) on 0845 274 6830 karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

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

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

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

For more information, please see Eddie Bisknell’s article; https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/breast-cancer-waiting-times-derby-3281245