Breast cancer treatment at Royal Stoke University Hospital is being reviewed after concerns raised over a surgeon's work.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and it is the second biggest cause of death from cancer in women. Substandard treatment can have a devastating impact on a patient’s outcome and ultimately their chance of survival. It is therefore particularly sad to learn that treatment provided by a Consultant Breast Surgeon at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, which is part of University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, may have not been of the appropriate standard and is now being reviewed.

There have been reports that approximately 26 women who underwent breast cancer operations at the Royal Stoke University Hospital may have been harmed after serious concerns were raised about a surgeon’s work. The hospital’s Breast Care team first raised concerns over the consultant’s practices in December 2015. The Consultant Breast Surgeon has been barred from seeing patients since January 2016.

It has been reported that patients who have been affected have been written to by the Trust. The Royal College of Surgeons is also carrying out an investigation.

Robert Courteney–Harris, the Chief Executive of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, has said:

“Whilst investigations are ongoing, on behalf of the Trust I should like to express my sincere regret and apologies to any patients who may have received a standard care that is below that expected. We took immediate action as soon as serious concerns about specific aspects of this consultant’s practice were brought to our attention. All those who are potentially affected have been contacted by us”.

Maria Panteli, partner and breast cancer specialist at Leigh Day says:

“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is frightening and worrying for a patient. However, to then find out that their medical treatment may not have been appropriate is devastating. In some cases, carrying out a legal investigation may be appropriate in order to try to secure compensation to help a patient. Sadly, we are still, too often, dealing with the impact of a late or misdiagnosis of breast cancer or of substandard treatment. It is vitally important, given the improving prognosis with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, that the best care is provided to all patients and the number of deaths reduced”.