Ipswich hospital sued over failure to diagnose cancer

Ipswich Hospital sign
Image caption Dr Kong Fa Lan Keng Lun failed to properly treat another patient in 2012 while working at Ipswich Hospital

A hospital is being sued over claims a radiologist at the centre of a breast cancer scandal in 2005 failed to spot signs of the disease in another woman in 2012.

Dr Kong Fa Lan Keng Lun was previously found to have deficiencies in his care of women in Epping, Essex.

Now it has emerged he failed to properly treat another patient in 2012 while working at Ipswich Hospital.

The hospital said that due to legal action it could not comment.

In 2007 the General Medical Council (GMC) found that Dr Lun had deficiencies in his care of women at St Margaret's Hospital in Epping, where 6,000 scans had to be reviewed in 2005.

But the GMC, which placed a number of conditions on Dr Lun, also blamed the NHS trust, saying the unit was understaffed.

Extreme pain

The GMC has looked at the more recent case but decided to take no action against the doctor, though an independent report found Dr Lan's care fell seriously below the standard that would normally be expected.

A GMC spokesman said it must "take into account whether a doctor has... taken action to address their shortcomings".

In the most recent case, the 46-year-old woman, from Suffolk, who does not wish to be named, attended Ipswich Hospital in June 2012 and September 2013.

Dr Lan carried out a mammogram and ultrasound but concluded there was no abnormality in either breast that would suggest the disease.

Fourteen months later the woman was urgently re-referred to the hospital with the same symptoms and extreme pain.

She had another mammogram and ultrasound performed by Dr Lan, who then requested a biopsy.

This showed that the woman had breast cancer.

The patient went to a private hospital and paid for a double mastectomy.

She is suing Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, claiming the delay in getting an accurate diagnosis has shortened her life expectancy.

The trust admits that during the initial consultation more tests should have been arranged.

However it disputes the claim the delay has reduced the woman's lifespan.

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