The Hospital of Doncaster GP accidentally told his patients that they had lung cancer aggressive lung cancer instead of wishing them a Merry Christmas. The medical institution Askern Medical Practice sent the text message to people registered at the surgery in Doncaster last December 23.
According to the BBCone of the patients who was awaiting medical test results said she “broke down” when she received the text message, even though she was later told it had been sent by error.
The first text sent told recipients that they had “aggressive lung cancer . with metastases“, a type of secondary malignant growth. They would then write back to them to complete a form that allows terminally ill patients to claim certain benefits.
About an hour later, the individuals received a second text message telling them that it was a mistake and that the hospital had meant to wish them an Merry Christmas.
One of the patients who received it when she was shopping told the BBC that she had just had a mole removed and was awaiting the result of a biopsy, and had been in hospital because her smear test came back abnormal, “so yes, I was very worried“. Despite repeatedly calling the hospital as soon as she received the message, she said she had trouble getting through to talk to someone.
Another of the surgery users who, along with his mother, received the text message said he was upset by the message, “The first thing I thought was, ‘is this some sort of macabre joke?'”. “They just told people a few days before Christmas that they have terminal lung cancer. They can’t do that.”
This serious error has occurred to coincide with the crisis in public health care in the United Kingdom.