Calls for NHS Reform to Prevent Missed Cancer Diagnosis | Anne’s Rule

Calls for NHS Reform to Prevent Missed Cancer Diagnosis | Anne's Rule
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam Updated: In: Medical Negligence

Missed Cancer Diagnosis for Over Two Years

Anne Shaw had already experienced cancer twice before she began worrying her cancer had made a return in 2019. As a result, Anne received scans at St James’s University Hospital Leeds, where she was told she was cancer free. However, due to a missed cancer diagnosis, two and a half years on it was discovered that she had a 3cm tumour that was visible on the initial scans.

Unfortunately, by the time Anne received the correct diagnosis, the terminal cancer had already spread to her bowel. As a result, Anne had to get a colostomy and now lives with a stoma. She describes the stoma as the ““most horrible thing you can imagine.” Medical professionals have since informed her that the colostomy would not have been necessary had the cancer been detected in 2019.

Anne’s Rule Calls for Reforms to Prevent Missed Cancer Diagnosis

Due to the NHS failings she experienced, Anne has started a petition calling for ‘Anne’s Rule’ to be implemented. ‘Anne’s Rule’ calls that that all NHS scans which have been requested where clinicians suspect cancer is present, to be checked by two radiologists, one of whom should be a cancer specialist.

Although Anne’s scan was checked by one radiologist, which is current standard practice, it is believed that under ‘Anne’s Rule’ the cancer diagnosis would have been spotted earlier. As a result, Anne is left describing herself “on Death Row”, after her terminal cancer diagnosis. She now experiences severe restrictions around her daily activities and diet.

Anne believes that if two doctors independently report their findings, it could lead to saving lives and improving outcomes by facilitating earlier cancer diagnosis.

“While it is too late for me, this change in approach could benefit so many other people in the future,” says Anne.

“Taking proactive action in this way would reduce the risk of cancer being missed, improve patient safety and help to reduce the pressure on NHS staff.

“Together with progressive treatments, this could result in less deaths, families enjoying longer, healthier lives together, and could extend the life expectancy of all cancer sufferers, both now and in the future.”

Calls to Action in Improving Clinical Standards

Through her petition, Anne aims to gain support for her call. ‘Anne’s Rule’ is aimed at enhancing clinical standards and improving both life expectancy and quality of life for individuals with cancer and their families.

“What happened to me could and should have been avoided, if only another radiologist had looked at my scan. The tumour is clear to see,” says Anne.

“Everyone has a bad day in the office from time to time and that risk must be factored into the NHS’s approach. People’s lives and quality of life are too important for this to be ignored.

“I understand NHS resources are under pressure, but this would pay for itself. More advanced cancers require expensive treatment and management. They take up a lot of clinical time and the prospect of cure is much lower.”

AWH Solicitors, stands in support for Anne’s campaign. To sign Anne’s petition, click here: Petition · Mandate Independent Review of X-Rays by Two Specialists – United Kingdom ·

Seeking Legal Support for a Missed Cancer Diagnosis

If you or a loved one has been affected by a missed cancer diagnosis, AWH’s Medical Negligence Solicitors can guide you through a claim. Our experienced team understands the devastating impact clinical errors can have on individuals and their families. Our team can help you gather evidence, and seek the compensation you deserve for the harm caused. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support during this challenging time.

Read more about how NHS staff shortages are leading to cancer delays. 

Find out more about how AWH’s specialist team can support victims of medical negligence. Get in contact by calling us on 0800 999 22220 or get in contact online. 

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