Nurse, 75, battling breast cancer after missing check-up aged 70 demands answers

A nurse battling breast cancer after being diagnosed with the deadly disease two years after she was denied a life-saving scan said today: 'I don't know if I'm going to survive'.     

Patricia Minchin, 75, said she was not offered a screening in 2013 when she turned 70, and is battling breast cancer after finding a lump herself when she was 72.

Two years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer - which has also spread to other parts of her body - and she is sure she could have avoided the 'trauma' of the disease with earlier screening. 

The grandmother and mother-of-four from Bushey, Hertfordshire: 'I feel absolutely let down. I worked for the National Health Service all my life, I was a nurse. I don't know if I'm going to survive'.

Appearing on BBC 2's Victoria Derbyshire show she said tearfully: 'The missed csan may have made a difference. Uncertainty is a big problem when you have breast cancer. You don’t need an IT programme failing you'.

Mrs Minchin said she wasn't angry because she didn't know whether to be angry with the NHS, Jeremy Hunt or the IT developers.

Patricia Minchin, 75, said she was not offered a screening in 2013 when she turned 70, and is battling breast cancer

She is one of 450,000 women Jeremy Hunt admitted the NHS forgot because of an IT glitch

Patricia Minchin, 75, said she was not offered a screening in 2013 when she turned 70, and is battling breast cancer - one of 450,000 women Jeremy Hunt admitted the NHS forgot because of an IT glitch

Mrs Minchin has admitted she does not know if she will live after the blunder 

Mrs Minchin has admitted she does not know if she will live after the blunder 

Q&A: WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISSED OUT ON A BREAST CANCER SCREENING

Q: I missed out on a final breast cancer screening, what can I do?

A: Jeremy Hunt today said surviving women who are still in their early 70s will be offered a catch-up screening. A helpline has also been set-up. 

All women affected who wish to be screened will be invited to one in the next six months – he said most would be screened sooner than that.  

The NHS Choices website provides further information and the option to contact your local unit to book an appointment.

All affected women registered with a GP will receive a letter by the end of May with further information.

Anyone concerned can contact the helpline on 0800 169 2692.

Q: How do I know if I did not receive my screening invitation?

A: All women affected who are registered with a GP will be informed by letter from Public Health England (PHE) by the end of May 2018.

Women affected aged up to their 72nd birthday will receive a letter inviting them for a catch-up screen.

Women aged 72 to 79 will receive a letter providing clear information on what to do next if they want to have a screen.

These women, aged 72 to 79, will be asked to contact the helpline.

Women, aged 70 to 79, currently registered with a GP, who do not receive a letter from PHE can be assured they are not affected and do not need a catch-up screen.

Q: How many women have been affected by the scandal?  

A: Between 2009 and the start of 2018, up to 450,000 women aged between 68 and 71 were not invited to their final breast screening. 

Women in England between the ages of 50 and 70 are currently automatically invited for breast cancer screening every three years.

Q: Who is eligible for compensation?

A: Mr Hunt made clear in his comments in Parliament that any case where the missed scan is established as a 'likely cause of death' would be eligible for compensation.

Previous negligence cases over cancer diagnosis have led to payouts of between £65,000 and close to £1million.

For more information call the helpline on 0800 169 2692. 

Q: What will prevent something like this from happening again?

A: The Health Secretary has ordered an independent inquiry to find out exactly what went wrong, how many people died and who is entitled to compensation. He has promised the Government will be 'transparent' about what went wrong.

The review, to be led by the chair of the Macmillan Cancer Trust and chair of the Royal Marsden Hospital, will take around six months.

She added: 'Why didn't they pick up that I hadn't had a mammogram? They obviously knew about it for some time and they shouldn't have covered it up for so long. 

'The whole journey I went on, the traumatic journey, all the treatment may never have had to happen'.

NHS chiefs are in the dock today over a breast cancer screening blunder that may have cost 270 lives.

Families demanded to know why officials took almost a decade to spot the disastrous IT error. 

It was finally detected in January but made public only yesterday – four months on.

In a dramatic statement to the Commons, Jeremy Hunt said the failures meant 450,000 women were not invited for routine mammograms between 2009 and early 2018.

The Health Secretary said up to 270 women could have died because their breast cancer was detected too late – or not at all.  

He apologised to affected families and launched an independent inquiry.

300,000-plus women will now be invited to an urgent scan and face an anxious wait to find out if they have cancer.

Unfortunately some have already had the bad news that they are seriously ill after discovering lumps themselves.

Mauveen Stone, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, claims doctors said she had ‘slipped through the net’. 

The 84-year-old from Yeovil in Somerset had her last screening in 1995 when she was 62 and was given the all-clear.However, she was never again invited to another screening

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