On or about the 13th July, 2013, the client underwent a colonoscopy procedure at the Hospital. He was subsequently advised by the Hospital that his bowel was free from any cancerous growth and was clear of any malignancy.
In September and October, 2014, apparently two diagnoses of bowel cancer were made in patients that had previously been screened at the Hospital and classed as negative for the disease. Consequently, the Health Service Executive instituted a review of certain colonoscopies undertaken at the Hospital by a particular consultant over a given period. In early 2015 a decision was taken by the Bowel Screen Programme that all patients who had undergone colonoscopy under the care of that particular consultant should be recalled for further screening. The client was included in this group.
On the 23rd May, 2015, the client underwent a further colonoscopy at another hospital. On this occasion, a neoplasm and polyp were identified in the distal transverse colon and a biopsy of both was taken for review. A histology report dated the 27th May, 2015 revealed adenocarcinoma in the neoplasm and high grade dysplasia and carcinoma in the polyp.
On the 24th June, 2015, he underwent a major surgical operation involving bowel resection under the care and management of the Hospital. The operation was to eradicate the cancer disease.
On the 23rd July, 2015, he attended a meeting arranged by staff at the offending Hospital. He was advised that on the balance of probabilities, the cancerous cells had been present when he underwent a colonoscopy in 2013.
He was later provided with a copy of the report into the standard of care provided to him by the Hospital, in particular relating to the quality of the original colonoscopy. There it was recorded that the care provided was substandard and that there had been a failure to respond to early warnings about the inadequacy of the colonoscopies being carried out by the consultant involved.
The H.S.E. in their Defence admitted the allegations that the colonoscopy in July 2013 was not carried out properly. However, they did allege that any delay in diagnosis had no bearing on the client’s ultimate outcome. In addition, the H.S.E. allege in their Defence that the claim itself is statute barred, given that the client did not instruct his Solicitor within the time laid down by Statute.
The case settled for a substantial sum plus legal costs.