Three patients died after doctor failed to ensure bowel test follow-up treatment

Three patients have died after being given a bowel test by a doctor who failed to ensure treatment needed was carried out, a health board has said.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said three more patients suffered harm.

The six patients were identified in a clinical review the health board carried out of 2,700 people the consultant carried out a colonoscopy on between 2020 and 2022.

The consultant, who has not been named, was suspended in November 2022 and has since left the health board.

NHSGGC deputy medical director Professor Colin McKay said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to patients who were not followed up appropriately and our condolences to the families of those patients who have died.

“When errors were first discovered, an immediate, comprehensive review was carried out of all cases managed by the doctor since 2020.

“We would like to reassure patients that we have already contacted all those patients affected and that no other patients should be concerned that they may be involved.

“We will ensure that recommendations and any other learning from our review will be shared with other health boards.”

The health board said patients and families affected have been informed of the outcome of the significant adverse event reviews carried out into these cases.

NHSGGC informed the General Medical Council (GMC) of its investigations when the issues first were identified and has continued to update the GMC of the progress of its review and findings.

The vast majority of colonoscopies performed by the doctor were for patients in the bowel screening programme.

NHSGGC said the review covered the period from January 2020 as there was review evidence of appropriate follow up prior to then.

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Dame Jackie Baillie said: “This is deeply concerning and it is shocking to think that there have been colonoscopy patients in Glasgow missing out on vital follow-up care.

“I am also angry that it has taken three years for anything to come to light on this issue. The lack of transparency is unacceptable.

“Lessons need to be learned so this does not happen ever again to any other patient in Scotland.”

Anyone with questions or concerns is asked to contact a helpline number on 0141 451 5435, between 8am and 8pm.

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