NHS scandal and heatwave on the way — Newspaper headlines

Up to 270 women in England may have died because they were not called for a final breast cancer screening the British government disclosed on Wednesday

Up to 270 women in England may have died because they were not called for a final breast cancer screening the British government disclosed on Wednesday

Checks are offered to women aged 50-70 every three years, but those affected were aged 68-71, with the issue dating back to 2009.

"At this stage it's unclear if any delay has resulted in avoidable harm or death".

Breast cancer screening scandal.

Best estimates suggest 135-270 women had their lives shortened because of the failure.

It is believed around 300,000 women who were impacted by this failure are still alive and in their 70s.

"We are deeply saddened and extremely concerned to hear that so many women have been let down by such a colossal systematic failure", says Delyth Morgan, chief executive of charity Breast Cancer Now.

He said he welcomed Hunt's "candour" in questioning why the problem was not picked up.

It was nine years before it was detected.

It was passed on to ministers in March following an urgent review and the Government was told the error should not be made public to ensure screening services were not overwhelmed. After 70, women can still have screening if they choose to by contacting their GP.

PHE has invited them all to receive the screening.

This comes as Ireland's own health service, the HSE, apologised for providing 208 women with incorrect all-clear cervical cancer results through CervicalCheck.

He called for Hunt to ensure that the NHS will have the staff it needs to carry out the additional work.

Campaigners demanded that the NHS hire hundreds of extra staff or send women overseas...

With the latter, a doctor will examine the area in question and, if they think the symptoms need further assessment, they'll refer patients to a specialist breast cancer clinic.

Mr Hunt said some of those could now have terminal cancer and others may have died. There are unlikely to be more fatalities than that - but the Health Secretary said the true number could be less.

Mr Hunt went on to announce an independent review into the issue.

"I am glad the truth has come out, and I just hope that people take more notice of these glitches, it really does affect people's real lives, devastatingly, it really devastates".

"We think it was a single IT mistake that was made right at the start of the programme and we do understand that sometimes those kind of mistakes are devilishly hard to identify, but nonetheless there must have been clues that could have been picked up".

The fault was discovered by Public Health England, which oversees the programme on behalf of the NHS, earlier this year.

Breast cancer survivor Katherine Simpson-Jacobs, who is from Ipswich and has written a book about how to break the news of a diagnosis to children, said this mistake would have put added financial pressure on the NHS.

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