Lancashire TelegraphWest Bradford mum died after X-ray error (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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West Bradford mum died after X-ray error

Lancashire Telegraph: Linda Renshaw and (inset) husband Arthur Linda Renshaw and (inset) husband Arthur

THE trust which runs East Lancashire’s hospitals has admitted failing to act on an X-ray revealing cancer in a mum later killed by the disease.

Linda Renshaw launched a medical negligence battle after she was diagnosed with the terminal lung condition which spread to her brain.

Three years earlier a doctor had spotted the early signs of the cancer on an x-ray at Royal Blackburn Hospital but nothing was followed up.

Mrs Renshaw, 61, told her family she had instructed solicitors because ‘she didn’t want it to happen to anyone else’.

Following her death, her husband of 34 years, Arthur, is continuing the legal fight in her memory.

The couple’s case is one of 45 against the trust launched by solicitors Manchester-based solicitors Pannone in the last five years - 27 of which are still active.

Last week the Government announced an independent inquiry after the trust recorded higher than expected mortality rates for two successive years.

It is one of five trusts nationally to be investigated and was 13 per cent above expectations.

Mr Renshaw, 71, said: “Linda instructed the solicitor because she didn’t want it to happen to anyone else. She told me I’d have to take it on though.

“She made me promise to see it through to the end so that it didn’t happen to another family.

“Nothing can bring her back but she wanted me to fight for justice.

“I got called to a meeting with the clinical director. They said ‘we failed your wife’. They have admitted neglect and causation of death.

“An independent consultant said she could have been cured.

“It’s devastating. I will never get over it. We were looking forward to retiring.”

Mrs Renshaw, a mum-of-three and stepmum-of-three, had the initial chest X-ray at the Royal Blackburn Hospital after she suffered a heart attack in July 2008.

According to Mr Renshaw, four days later a doctor spotted the tumour and a note was sent to the ward she had been on to follow it up.

He said: “They are supposed to have computer systems where the information was passed to the GP, but it wasn’t logged.”

In 2010, Mrs Renshaw went to her GP and was told she was having seizures. After initially being treated for sinus problems, she was sent to hospital for an X-ray.

Mr Renshaw, of Three Rivers, West Bradford, said: “The following day we heard from the hospital and a doctor said can I come and speak with you.

“He came and said, ‘I’m sorry to inform you that you have advanced lung cancer and it has spread to your brain’.

“We told him Linda had had an X-ray in 2008 and he said ‘yes, when you had that X-ray the doctor spotted the early signs but nothing was followed up’.

“He gave her five months to live. I was numb, but Linda was full of hope that she would beat the cancer.

“She was determined to fight the cancer and turned to alternative medicine. We were spending £500 a month on treatments.

“She was taken really ill in April 2011. In the May she went into hospital and died.

“Linda was the breadwinner. She had three part time jobs as a cleaner and a lunch time assistant. I had retired due to ill health.”

Mrs Renshaw, who had worked as a cleaner at Clitheroe High School, Whalley Primary School and Oakhill College, was buried in her mother of the bride outfit she had planned to wear for her daughter Tracy’s wedding in July.

Marged Berry, of Pannone Solicitors, said Mrs Renshaw died of lung cancer on May 9 2011. She said the trust had admitted neglect and causation of death.

Ms Berry said there had been a failure to follow up on a chest x-ray which clearly showed early cancerous changes in summer 2008, but Mrs Renshaw was not actually diagnosed until early 2011 by which time the cancer was terminal.

She said: “We are disturbed by the number of cases that we see. Arthur Renshaw’s case is an example of that. It’s such a simple error that could have meant that Mrs Renshaw survived.

“The inquiry is welcomed because it will lead to a rethink of policies and procedures and better patient care.

“Although we have a substantial number of cases against East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, we can’t draw any conclusions. We have to wait for the inquiry.”

Lynn Wissett, deputy chief executive for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The trust has met with Mr Renshaw and a detailed investigation into his concerns was undertaken.

“We would again offer our sincere condolences to Mr Renshaw.

“The matter is now subject to litigation and the trust and the National Health Service Litigation Authority are working with Mr Renshaw’s legal representatives.”

Comments (6)

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12:19pm Mon 11 Feb 13

mavrick says...

What a damming endightment of neglect
I can understand how the family feel. We deserve much better treatment than we are getting at the moment from the R.B.H I noticed yet again the same old cliché An investigation will be undertaken, It should never have happened in the first place. I hate to keep going on about the R.B.H but since the reorganisation of our hospital services it does seem to have deteriorated terribly. The people of Burnley have suffered badly at the closure of their A&E department. I hope the investigation takes on board peoples concerns at the poor management of our hospitals, That is if the inquiry will allow public views to be aired. whatever the outcome money will be the main consideration.
What a damming endightment of neglect I can understand how the family feel. We deserve much better treatment than we are getting at the moment from the R.B.H I noticed yet again the same old cliché An investigation will be undertaken, It should never have happened in the first place. I hate to keep going on about the R.B.H but since the reorganisation of our hospital services it does seem to have deteriorated terribly. The people of Burnley have suffered badly at the closure of their A&E department. I hope the investigation takes on board peoples concerns at the poor management of our hospitals, That is if the inquiry will allow public views to be aired. whatever the outcome money will be the main consideration. mavrick
  • Score: 3

12:52pm Mon 11 Feb 13

bigste says...

Worst of it is they will pay peanuts compared to what is being paid by Murdoch, and they are still alive. What should have been the best ten years of her life is gone, as so as her husband's.
Worst of it is they will pay peanuts compared to what is being paid by Murdoch, and they are still alive. What should have been the best ten years of her life is gone, as so as her husband's. bigste
  • Score: 3

12:58pm Mon 11 Feb 13

woolywords says...

What a truly tragic state of affairs, that begs the question of if, management should be charged with cupable homicide, since by their errors, this lady died needlessly.
What a truly tragic state of affairs, that begs the question of if, management should be charged with cupable homicide, since by their errors, this lady died needlessly. woolywords
  • Score: 3

4:30pm Mon 11 Feb 13

itsjaynehere says...

I am one of those with active case with pretty much the same problem as this poor family.
My sister was admitted to BRH this time last year. She had tests, scans and xrays and was diagnosed with pancreatitis.
She was given antibiotics, developed "hospital aquired" pnuemonia and blood clots in her legs which then caused cardiac arrest.
She couldn't eat or walk. We were told repaetedly by staff at all levels it was all in her head and we were told to 'encourage' her to help herself which we did.
Imagine our devastation when she died 7weeks later from undiagnosed chirrosis of the liver even though numerous scans had been done and the only comment relating to her liver was 'it was slighty fatty'.
We would have treated her very differently had we known the real diagnosis - sod 'encouraging' her to look after herself!
We haven't even received an apology!
This will continue until ALL staff are held to account.
I am one of those with active case with pretty much the same problem as this poor family. My sister was admitted to BRH this time last year. She had tests, scans and xrays and was diagnosed with pancreatitis. She was given antibiotics, developed "hospital aquired" pnuemonia and blood clots in her legs which then caused cardiac arrest. She couldn't eat or walk. We were told repaetedly by staff at all levels it was all in her head and we were told to 'encourage' her to help herself which we did. Imagine our devastation when she died 7weeks later from undiagnosed chirrosis of the liver even though numerous scans had been done and the only comment relating to her liver was 'it was slighty fatty'. We would have treated her very differently had we known the real diagnosis - sod 'encouraging' her to look after herself! We haven't even received an apology! This will continue until ALL staff are held to account. itsjaynehere
  • Score: 1

7:35pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Pinky&theBrain says...

45 cases of negligence from one company alone, has anyone asked how many more there are? with " Mortality rates subject of 'concern'" . Less than a week ago this hospital was in the press for the 5th highest death rate IN THE COUNTRY and increasing over the past TWO YEARS!!Are GPs not in charge? Has the PCT and its band of half wits bailed out for a reason? What the flip are GP commissioners doing about this, why are they still commissioning services from this understaffed, unsafe, unclean excuse of a hospital? or are they the ones burying their heads in the sand not entering the results on their computers? This is an atrocity and people in this area are suffering at the hands of the hospital. Anywhere else this would be classed as corporate manslaughter, and management would go to jail. But this is the NHS these mis managers hide behind their NHS litigation authority, wash their hands of the issues and heartache they cause and cleanse their soles on the fact they have met with this poor man and investigated the unnecessary death of his wife, or 'concerns' as they are described.Detailed review my eye! This is Appalling, Atrocious, and Unacceptable, I hope the 'investigation' closes the place, the residents of our county deserve better.
45 cases of negligence from one company alone, has anyone asked how many more there are? with " Mortality rates subject of 'concern'" . Less than a week ago this hospital was in the press for the 5th highest death rate IN THE COUNTRY and increasing over the past TWO YEARS!!Are GPs not in charge? Has the PCT and its band of half wits bailed out for a reason? What the flip are GP commissioners doing about this, why are they still commissioning services from this understaffed, unsafe, unclean excuse of a hospital? or are they the ones burying their heads in the sand not entering the results on their computers? This is an atrocity and people in this area are suffering at the hands of the hospital. Anywhere else this would be classed as corporate manslaughter, and management would go to jail. But this is the NHS these mis managers hide behind their NHS litigation authority, wash their hands of the issues and heartache they cause and cleanse their soles on the fact they have met with this poor man and investigated the unnecessary death of his wife, or 'concerns' as they are described.Detailed review my eye! This is Appalling, Atrocious, and Unacceptable, I hope the 'investigation' closes the place, the residents of our county deserve better. Pinky&theBrain
  • Score: 1

8:11pm Mon 11 Feb 13

katypri says...

the area Royal Blackburn Hospital is trying to cover is immoral, we were sold down the river when they closed Burnley General no one would listen, when the next influze of EU are allowed in be afraid be very afraid
the area Royal Blackburn Hospital is trying to cover is immoral, we were sold down the river when they closed Burnley General no one would listen, when the next influze of EU are allowed in be afraid be very afraid katypri
  • Score: 0

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