A terminally-ill patient suffering from cervical cancer recorded a video calling for better cervical screening at Southmead Hospital after doctors failed to diagnose her six times.
The mum-of-two who worked for the NHS for 13 years, said: “I think it took six attempts for the cancer to be diagnosed. It’s disgusting I have been suffering the way I have and I continue to suffer.”
During the video, Julie appears weak and short of breath as she recounts her ordeal to the camera. She talks about fears that other patients have suffered cervical cancer misdiagnosis. She died three days after it was shot at St Peter’s Hospice, in Bristol.
Julie, of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, complained of symptoms in 2014, but a cervical smear test came back negative.
Doctors at Southmead said she had another condition known as a cervical ectropion.
She added she had numerous biopsies and examinations, but that it was not until three years after the initial diagnosis a private consultant informed her she had cancer.
Husband Kevin then tells the camera doctors failed to diagnose her illness over a period of three years.
“We hold them fully accountable,” he says. “The pathologist and the gynaecologist, who had several opportunities to intervene, I hold them responsible, and I do hold the board of directors at North Bristol Trust accountable.
The family sued North Bristol NHS Trust, who Southmead Hospital are part of. They admitted liability and offered damages.
Her husband Kevin, from Thornbury, said he believed other cases of cervical cancer in women may have been missed.
“One of the last things Julie said was that she didn’t want this to happen to anybody else,” he said.
“I’ve asked the coroners if they would consider an inquiry, not just into Julie’s care but back to 2014 to be sure this doesn’t have to happen to anyone else and if there are other victims.”
Mr O’Connor said he also had concerns about the hospital’s review.
“It’s not independent because they wrote the terms of reference, the scope is very limited.
“They’re looking at doing the review from July 2017.
“The private hospital raised the red flag in March 2017, but this happened in 2014 so we do need to go right back to when it was misdiagnosed.”
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