Heart test patients at Scarborough’s hospital face recall over quality concerns

Scarborough Hospital.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Scarborough Hospital. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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Patients at a Yorkshire hospital face a recall for repeat tests over concerns about the quality of key heart scans.

Bosses at Scarborough’s hospital have ordered a review initially dating back 12 months of hundreds of records of patients who have undergone echocardiography.

Doctors say some patients will need repeat tests to measure how their heart is working. Around 1,800 people have echo tests each year in Scarborough although some are being carried out in York due to the problems.

The issue is the latest to hit the hospital which declared a major incident in A&E in January due to a surge in demand and faces chronic staff shortages, leading to a decision last year to switch scans for women with suspicious breast symptoms to York.

Alastair Turnbull, medical director at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As part of the development of a single specialist cardiology department across the trust, we have looked at the quality of the highly specialist investigations that are carried out.

“We identified areas for improvement in the quality of some echocardiography recordings made at Scarborough Hospital.

“As a result our cardiology team is reviewing records and will advise any patient who may need a further scan.

“It is important to stress that there is no reason to believe that patients have come to harm, but given the importance we attach to patient safety and the reliability of our clinical tests, we felt it was important to review patients’ recordings to ensure that reliable, thorough reports have been made.

“We need to offer some patients a further scan and will be contacting them soon.”

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The trust has been liaising closely with us as part of this review. We are fully supportive of any initiative to improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients in our area.”