A woman tragically died from a treatable brain tumour because doctors failed to properly monitor her scan results, according to a report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). May Ashford was diagnosed with the tumour in 2010 at the Royal Preston Hospital near Blackpool. However, the PHSO found that she was not offered surgery until it was too late, despite the results of further scans indicating the need for immediate intervention.
May Ashford’s husband, Alan, expressed their family’s anguish, stating that it was evident from reading the scan reports that the monitoring of her tumour was highly questionable. He believes the tumour should have been removed before it jeopardized the carotid artery. They remain in the dark about why the consultant responsible for her care made the decisions they did, as no explanation was ever provided.
Mrs. Ashford was initially diagnosed after experiencing debilitating headaches and seizures. Regular MRI scans showed that the tumour was growing, causing displacement of her brain. Despite these findings, surgery was not offered until May 2015. The PHSO investigation unveiled that medical staff had failed to properly monitor the scan results and had not reported significant findings, resulting in the delayed surgery.
Independent medical specialists consulted by the Ombudsman confirmed that Mrs. Ashford should have been offered surgery three years earlier. Tragically, she passed away at the age of 71 from a stroke following the surgery.
Ombudsman Rob Behrens stressed the urgent need for improvements in imaging practices within the NHS, citing this case as a prime example of the devastating consequences that can arise due to mistakes related to scans and X-rays.
Following a complaint brought forth by Mr. Ashford, the Ombudsman’s report led to the implementation of new rules concerning patient monitoring at the hospital to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for comment regarding this case.