Northern Ireland

Cancer patient death follows Altnagelvin x-ray delay

Altnagelvin Hospital
Image caption Thousands of patients were recalled to Altnagelvin after their X rays were not followed up

At least one of four people whose cancer diagnosis was delayed at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital has since died.

Details of the person's death emerged after the Western Trust revealed that four people had to wait up to 10 months for their cancer to be diagnosed.

The delays happened after written assessments of 18,500 X-rays were not carried out.

It is not yet clear whether the delay in diagnosis contributed to the death.

The Western Health Trust has refused to give details of the four people because of what it described as patient confidentiality.

The trust has apologised for the backlog in X-ray cases and said it has now been cleared.

It said the delay in carrying out the written assessments was caused by staff and equipment shortages.

The trust said the backlog had now been cleared. It also apologised to the patients affected.

The huge backlog emerged last July when it came to light that important reports had not been completed by clinicians.

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