Around 80 calls made to hospital helpline for patients concerned about cancers cases admin blunder

So far around 80 calls have been made to a helpline set up in the wake of the discovery of an administrative error which meant treatment to patients with cancer symptoms was delayed.

West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust launched the phoneline for people who fear they may have been victims of the failure.

Last week the trust, which runs Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans hospitals, held its hands up to the blunder, which meant that patients who missed their first appointment after being referred to the hospital by their GP or dentist were not sent a second appointment.

Instead they were wrongly discharged - and the trust has already admitted that this breach of NHS rules has contributed to one person’s death.

A review of the cases of 121 people still continues and an independent external investigation has been launched.

Those affected - totalling 810 - have already been contacted by the trust but a helpline was still opened to assist those who may have concerns.

A trust spokesman said: “The majority of calls have been from people about whom we had no concerns but who had received a letter and wanted further reassurance.

“This is completely understandable in the circumstances. We have offered them the opportunity to talk through their notes with a clinician.”

The helpline - open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm - is 01923 217100.

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