An IT error in the NHS screening system has led to 450,000 women across England failing to receive invitations to attend for regular breast screening since 2009.

As a result of the error, it is thought that between 135 and 270 women have died as their cancer went undiagnosed. Of the 450,000 women affected, 309,000 are still alive and in their 70’s.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said; “For them and the others it is incredibly upsetting to know that you did not receive an invitation at the correct time and totally devastating to hear you may have lost or be about to lose a loved one because of administrative incompetence”.

An independent review has been launched and all women affected should now be contacted by the end of May. Those under 72 will receive an appointment for a catch-up mammogram.

Lois Harrison, a Solicitor specialising in clinical negligence said; “Losing a loved one to cancer is simply devastating but to then learn that their death could have been prevented is unthinkable. This serious administrative error needs to be investigated thoroughly to ensure that it does not happen again”.

Caption: Lois Harrison, Solicitor.