Northern Trust Provides Further Update on Radiology Lookback Review
The Northern Trust has provided a further update on the Radiology Lookback Review that it is conducting into the work of a Locum Consultant Radiologist who was engaged by the Trust from July 2019 to February 2020.
Commenting, Dr Seamus O’Reilly, Medical Director at the Northern Trust, and also Chair of the Steering Group for the Lookback Review, said:
“I can confirm that as of Tuesday 23 August, we have completed the review of 7,902 images, which is just over 60 percent of the total.
“To date, we have identified Level 1 discrepancies in a total of six images. Level 1 discrepancies are errors or omissions in reporting which could have had immediate and significant clinical impact for the patients concerned.
“In addition we have identified a further 37 images with Level 2 discrepancies i.e. reporting errors or omissions with probable impact for patients.
“Most of the images categorised as having Level 1 and Level 2 major discrepancies are CT scans but some are MRI scans, chest x-rays and other x-rays.”
So far, the Trust has been able to provide assurance to 4,012 patients or their parents/guardians that there is no further cause for concern (44 percent of the total of 9,091 who received initial letters informing them that their images would be part of the review).
Continuing Dr O’Reilly said:
“The review is progressing well and we are hopeful that we can complete the remaining images – just over 5,000 – over the next few weeks. Our Clinical Sub-group continues to meet on a weekly basis to review patients whose images have been categorised as Level 1 or Level 2. It also considers some Level 3 images to decide what actions are appropriate.”
The review concerns 13,030 radiology images taken in Antrim Area Hospital, Causeway Hospital, Whiteabbey Hospital, Mid Ulster Hospital and the Ballymena Health and Care Centre and which were reported on by this radiologist.
The Trust wrote to 9,091 patients or the parents/guardians, where appropriate, to make them aware of the review, which commenced at the end of June.
Following review, images are being categorised into one of five Levels as follows:
Level 1: Major Discrepancy (immediate and significant clinical impact)
Level 2: Major Discrepancy (probable clinical impact)
Level 3: Minor Discrepancy (clinical impact unlikely)
Level 4: Minor Discrepancy (either typographic or a discrepancy of very doubtful significance)
Level 5: No Discrepancy
7,583 of the images reviewed (96 percent of the total so far reviewed) have been categorised as Level 4 or 5, meaning that they have either no discrepancy or a discrepancy of very doubtful significance.
A helpline and dedicated email address was established for anyone who received a letter and was particularly concerned. A freephone telephone number 0800 023 4377 was also set up and can be called from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. There is also a dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trust is also providing psychological support services throughout the course of the review for any patients who might be particularly anxious.
Further details, including frequently asked questions and answers, can be accessed from the front page of the Northern Trust’s website www.northerntrust.hscni.net.
Breast services have not been impacted and are not part of the review.
25th August 2021