HSE 'deeply regrets any distress' caused by cancer diagnosis problems at Wexford General Hospital

Health Minister says colonoscopy mistakes were due to human error

Newstalk, colonscopies, colonscopy, Wexford General hospital, Ireland East Hospital Group, IEHG, health, minister, Leo Varadkar, bowel, screening, cancer

Wexford General Hospital. Photo: Rollingnews.ie

The HSE says it 'deeply regrets any distress' caused by problems diagnosing cancers at Wexford General Hospital.

A leaked review of 600 patients' bowel screenings at the hospital has found around 12 cases of cancer were missed by tests between 2013 and 2014.

It follows a recall of patients who had undergone screening at the facility.

The Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) - which manages Wexford General Hospital - says the recall was managed in accordance with Health Service Executive (HSE) safety incident management policy.

In a statement, the IEHG says throughout the process, patients and their families have been provided with full information and follow up treatment.

The group says the report and its findings are now in the final stages of preparation.

They say the report has been signed off and will be sent to all parties before it can be published.

It is understood the review has identified around dozen cases of probable missed cancers.

Dr Orla Healy, is from the HSE's National Incident Management and Learning Team, says the priority has been to address patient concern, which she says "has been completed swiftly".

While explaining that they deeply regret any distress caused to people affected, she adds that "the public should be assured we've acted quickly to ensure the safety of services at the hospital".

The Health Minister Leo Varadkar says mistakes at the hospital were due to human error.

"For so long as we have a health service that's staffed by human beings who use machines there will be errors - because human being make errors and machines make mistakes", Minister Varadkar told Newstalk Breakfast.

The minister also extended his sympathies to the families involved, and encouraged them to go for any re-check.