Northern Trust Completes Lookback Review of 13,030 Radiology Images
The Northern Health and Social Care Trust announced a lookback review into 13,000+ radiology images in June 2021. At the end of June, the trust wrote to 9,091 patients to make them aware of the concerning images, which were taken in Antrim Area Hospital, Causeway Hospital, Whiteabbey Hospital, Mid Ulster Hospital and the Ballymena Health and Care Centre.
In August 2021, Dr Seamus O’Reilly reported that the review revealed 12 cases with major discrepancies.
It is now revealed that the Trust have completed a review of the 13,030 images, and a total of 6 images are reported as ‘Level 1 discrepancy’ together with a further 60 ‘Level 2 discrepancy’ cases. The images are categorised into 5 levels, five meaning there is no discrepancy, whereas one means a “major discrepancy that could have had immediate and significant clinical impact”. As it currently stands, there are 66 major discrepancies identified.
Dr Seamus O’Reilly who chairs the steering group has reported that most of the images that were categorised as Level 1 or 2 are CT scans. However, there are some MRI scans, chest and other x-rays. However, it is not clear how many of those images are in fact MRI or x-ray scans.
Mr O’Reilly further reported that the clinical assessment group, after careful consideration, determined 17 patients who should be part of a Level 3 SAI (Serious Adverse Incident) review. A SAI review is the highest form of hospital investigation and patients and families who were affected will be contacted and made aware of the pending SAI review, says Mr O’Reilly.
The Trust are now reportedly in the process of appointing an independent panel who will lead the SAI review which will aid in in explaining to patients what happened, why it happened, how this may have an impact and if the patient’s outcome could have been different but for the discrepancy.
This is understandably a worrying time for patients and families who are involved in the recall. At PA Duffy & Co, we have acted on behalf of various recall patients in Northern Ireland. If you, or your family have been affected by the recall, please contact our clinical negligence team at PA Duffy & Company Solicitors for expert advice.