If you are one of the 450,000 women who was not called for a mammogram due to the recently identified computer error then you may have a clinical negligence claim, however, the failure the screen you itself will not be sufficient to bring a claim.
In order to pursue a clinical negligence claim it has to been shown that something went wrong and that that error has caused further harm or injury which could otherwise have been avoided.
For the women who were not called for a mammogram when they ought to have been, it is clear that this was an error and we would be able to classify that error as negligence. However, for a clinical negligence claim to be successful we would have to demonstrate that that error caused a delay in diagnosing breast cancer on the basis that if the woman had attended for mammogram the cancer could have been diagnosed earlier than it actually was.
We would also need to demonstrate that the delay in diagnosis led to a worse outcome either in terms of treatment the woman had to undergo or in terms of final prognosis.
I anticipate that for the vast majority of the women caught up in this awful scandal the error will thankfully not have had any negative impact on them, but for a few, it could have led to a delayed diagnosis and worse outcome. I would encourage any woman who feels that they have suffered a worse outcome as a result of such an error to seek proper legal advice in order to explore fully whether they may have a clinical negligence claim.
Hannah Bottomley is a clinical negligence solicitor here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about clinical negligence issues or indeed any other aspect of this article and wish to speak to Hannah or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888 or email Hannah directly.