Family of South Yorkshire mum-of-six call for action after fatal cancer not diagnosed for 17 months

The family of a South Yorkshire woman who died after a hospital failed to remove a cancerous tumour for 17 months has called for action and lessons to be learned.

Marie Duffy died after her cancer was not diagnosed for nearly a year and a half.
Marie Duffy died after her cancer was not diagnosed for nearly a year and a half.

Marie Duffy had been referred by her GP to Rotherham Hospital in August 2014 for a CT scan following investigations regarding abdominal pain which had lasted several weeks.

The results of a CT scan highlighted suspicions of colon cancer. However, Marie was discharged from the hospital’s care in October without any follow up appointment.

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She continued to experience months of pain and was once again referred to the hospital in December 2015. Following further tests, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in March 2016. Marie, of Thrybergh, died aged 44, that July.

Marie's family are calling for lessons to be learned following her death.

Following Marie’s death, her family instructed specialist medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office to investigate the level of care she received under Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.

Now, after the Trust admitted liability for delays in Marie’s diagnosis and death, her partner Nicholas Bagnall, has joined his legal team in calling for lessons to be learned.

Hayley Smith, expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Marie’s family, said: “This is a truly devastating case in which a number of very serious concerns over the level of care Marie received have been admitted by the Hospital Trust.

“Whilst nothing can ever make up for the heartache Nicholas and the rest of the family have suffered, the family is pleased that the Trust has admitted liability.

“Marie’s case is a stark reminder of the need for patient standards to be upheld at all times. We will continue to support Nicholas and join him and the rest of the family in calling on the Hospital Trust to ensure it learns lessons from the way Marie and her family were let down so that the issues faced by Marie are not repeated.”

Nicholas said: “Marie always felt that the hospital was not taking her concerns seriously but we put our faith in them.

“We should have had years ahead of us but I can’t help feeling our family has been torn apart because of the way our concerns seemed to be dismissed without too much concern.

“It may be two years since Marie died but it still doesn’t feel real. Marie was such a key part of the family who would do anything for anyone. Each day is a struggle without her.

“All I can hope for now is that the Hospital Trust learns lessons and implements new procedures so Marie’s death is not totally in vain.”