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Hospital trust says lessons learnt after £50k payout to family of ‘misdiagnosed’ cancer victim

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 February 2016

Mary Myers, 46, died in 2012

Mary Myers, 46, died in 2012

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A hospital trust which settled out of court with a family for a five-figure sum after a woman died following an alleged cancer misdiagnosis said lessons had been learnt.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust [BHRUT] paid the family of Mary Myers, from Ilford, £50,000 after she died in May 2012.

In October 2008, Mary, then 46, went to King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, after finding a lump in her breast.

The family’s lawyers say she was told that the cysts picked up by doctors following a mammogram and ultrasound were benign.

Mary, who had a family history of breast cancer, was discharged after she was given the all-clear.

Later that year, in December, she returned to the hospital because she could still feel the lump.

The family say hospital staff tried to take a sample through a fine needle but were unsuccessful.

Mary was reassured once again that the diagnosis of the cysts as benign was still correct.

She was offered surgery to investigate further but declined.

Mary returned to the hospital in January 2011 with pain in her arm and back. She also had a sizeable swelling in her breast and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Despite treatment, she died about a year later.

The family’s lawyer Sharon Allison said they believe Mary’s cancer was not properly diagnosed at the outset.

“Instead, 18 months ticked by, wasted, while she was reassured that the discomfort she felt was nothing much to worry about,” she said.

“This is a tragedy.”

In a statement released after the settlement, her family said the settlement meant that Mary “did not go quietly to her grave”.

“She wanted so much to live and was looking forward to becoming an aunty for the first time,” the statement continued.

“The settlement of £50,000 will be held in trust for her nephew, which we know would make her happy.”

BHRUT medical director Dr Nadeem Moghal said: “We always work hard to improve our service and learn lessons following any incident.

“Whilst no admissions of liability have been made, we are sorry that Ms Myers’ family felt we had not met the standard of care expected and pursued a claim.

“We hope the resolution of this claim and the fact lessons have been learnt will offer some comfort to the family.”


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