Call for an x-ray apology

The North’s Health Minister has been asked to apologise for the x-ray backlog at Altnagelvin that saw four cancer patients received late diagnoses.

Derry Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson says an apology would be the first step in rebuilding confidence in the health system.

Her comments come after the minister, Michael McGimpsey, announced earlier this week that the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) will undertake a review into radiology services across every hospital in the North.

The review comes after revelations in January that a massive backlog of more than 18,000 x-rays at Derry’s Altnagelvin hospital saw four cancer patients received late diagnoses. One of those patients has subsequently died.

Derry Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson welcomed the review but says it comes too late for those affected by the failings at Altnagelvin.

“It is unfortunate that the Minister had to be forced into this action after being confronted by incontrovertible evidence of serious failure of procedures at Altnagelvin.”

She called on the minister to issue an apology.

“I believe that this is an essential first step in rebuilding the public confidence in our health and social care services especially in the Western Trust area which has seen a catalogue of failures in the past few years.

Mr McGimpsey says he wants to “ensure that we have the systems in place to prevent something like this happening again”.