72 patients recalled for repeat scans under Kerry hospital review

Review relates to work of one radiologist who worked at hospital from March 2016 to July 2017

The number of patients whose imaging has been reviewed at University Hospital Kerry is now  20,367. Photograph: Getty Images

The number of patients whose imaging has been reviewed at University Hospital Kerry is now 20,367. Photograph: Getty Images

 

A total of 72 patients have now been recalled for repeat scans as part of an ongoing review of radiology at University Hospital Kerry.

The latest figures for numbers recalled are up from 49 a week ago.

In an update on the review the South West Hospital Group said on Thursday that significant progress had been made.

“As of today (11th January 2018) 73.4 per cent of the review is complete, with the number of images reviewed at 33,950, from a total of 46,235. The number of patients whose imaging has been reviewed is 20,367, accounting for 76 per cent of 26, 756 individual patients. The number of patients who have been recalled for repeat imaging to date is 72,” it said.

A team of 10 external radiologists are undertaking the look-back.

The review began in October but only became public last month.

The more than 46,000 scans relating to 27,000 patients are being re-examined after it emerged that a number of serious cancers were missed by one radiologist in the department. The scans concerned were produced by the consultant between March 2016 and July 2017 - the period when the consultant worked at the hospital as a full time locum.

Diseases were missed in the cases of seven patients.

Public representatives in Kerry have warned against scapegoating an individual, saying the workload of a single radiologist appeared huge.

Management have said the radiology team at the Tralee hospital is commensurate with a hospital of its size but said it will look at this aspect as part of the review. Some work is being outsourced because of pressure, it has also said.

On Thursday night, the independent TD Danny Healy-Rae who was told he would get a breakdown of the workload for each radiologist at the hospital at a briefing for public representatives in early December said he has still not received the information.

“I have made at least half a dozen phone calls to management and I still have not got the breakdown to see if it is all being thrown over on one person,” Mr Healy-Rae said.

The delay showed a lack of respect by the HSE for public representatives, the TD said.