My day 'in court' is coming up

In March 2003 I was recalled after routine breast screening to the Epping Breast Sreening Centre, part of the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust in Essex. It was a very busy clinic that day and I saw a harassed over worked consultant with poor professional communication skills. He told me he had aspirated three cysts and sent me away on 3 year recall. In fact one of the ‘cysts’ was a solid lump, and I had another suspicious area in my lymph node. I left the clinic believing I was cancer free.

7 months later I was diagnosed with stage 3 locally advanced breast cancer.

I have been doggedly pursuing a complaint through the Trust, the GMC and the Health Commission. (for technical legal reasons I do not have a case for financial compensation.) Over the past 4 and a half years there have been moments of activity and months of nothing much happening.

My own complaint was soon overtaken by a bigger concern about the management of the whole breast screening unit which was subsequently closed down and heavily criticised in various NHS reports.

And now the doctor in charge of the unit, the doctor who misdiagnosed me faces a GMC Fitness to Practise Panel for 2O days from September 3rd. The Doctor is Dr Lan Keng Lun and the case will consider misconduct and deficient professional performance. The ‘panel will inquire into allegations that he did not ensure that breast screening assessments were carried out to the required standards as detailed in the NHSBSP guidelines… It is also alleged that he did not ensure adequate training, supervision and monitoring of radiologists…’

‘It is alleged that he acted in a way which was irresponsible, misleading, unprofessional, dishonest, not in the best interests of his patients and below the standards to be expected of a registered practitioner.’

The case is being held at the GMC headquarters in Manchester and I will be a witness during the first week (squeezing in on a good day during chemo.)

I don’t usually name doctors on forums but this information is taken verbatim from the GMC Press Office and is already in cyber space and the public realm.

I have so many mixed emotions, fears, (and tears) as I prepare to be retell my story of a consultation that went badly wrong. I know that no one can ever know whether an earlier diagnosis would have affected the progression of my disease…I have chosen not to go down the route of believing that it has…therein lies bitterness…but I hope, how I hope that the evidence against this doctor is proved and he is reprimanded at the least and maybe struck off (I doubt this will happen…sadly.) Thousands of women in Essex who had mammograms between 2003/2004 had to have their screening rechecked as a result of the mismanagement. A few were found to have cancer when they had been told they were clear. In my own case a dodgy mammogram got me a recall…but I was then sent away with an aggressive cancer that had 7 months more to grow.

Anyone in Manchester interested…the hearings should be held in public.

Jane

PS: The Breast Centre in Epping has now reopened under ‘new management’ and new procedures so please if you are currently being treated there don’t worry, but do watch for news of the case in local east London and Essex press.

Jane

I admire your spirit and thank you for your contributions to this site. I wish you all strenght (in every sense of the word) in your court appearance

Sharon x

What a long wait you’ve had Jane.
I hope your day in court goes well and you are happy with the outcome.
Thinking of you, Belinda.x.x.

I am sure that you will do a good job in telling your story in court. I, too, hope that all goes well and you are happy with the outcome. The wheels of justice sure turn slowly, and I admire your determination in seeing this through.

Best wishes,

Christine

Hi Jane,

I wish you serenity and strength, it’s been a long battle for you and I hope that after this is finished you will feel a deep peace within you.

hugs

Ruth

I wish you all the best for your day in court and hope you get the answers you are looking for.

This should never happen to anyone, but I admire your spirit and determination in taking this forward. If it stops it happening to even one more person you will have done a wonderful job.

Take care and best wishes

Thistle

Dear Jane, best of luck for your day in court. I had an experience that was slightly similar to yours. 2 GP’s at the practice I am registered with, told me I had a cyst. It turned out to be grade 2 invasive cancer, diagnosed after I insisted on a referral to the breast clinic. The practice has since investigated my complaint, issued a formal written apology and changed their procedure on referrals to the clinic. Part of the investigation involved a meeting with the senior practitioner and the practice manager. I’ll admit I was very anxious and ended up all snot and tears. However, they were extremely considerate and supportive, and held their hands up to the failures in their system. I’ll never know whether or not the delay in referring me would have made a difference to my diagnosis and treatment. However, I feel like I’ve done something about it and somehow got it off my chest- bad choice of words maybe, oops. It’s also about people being held accountable, which is n’t a bad thing, and changing systems that are n’t working. Don’t be embarressed if you end up in tears, people should accept that this is a consequence of the way you were treated. It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a tribunal, especially after going through cancer treatment. Keep your chin up and go get 'em, girl!

Best wishes
Geraldine

Jane - if you are as articulate when you speak as you are erudite in writing, I think you will put your case admirably. Your tenacity is awesome… If I was in the Manchester area I would certainly come and support you, but unfortunately in Cornwall.
Good luck.
Liz.

Jane, i am sure you will put your case forward like a true professional, as others have said you are very articulate and can hold your own. Good luck.
shirl X

Dear Jane

Firstly I want to say you handle yourself so well. You have achieved so much. I hope the evidence against the doctor is proved and he gets reprimanded. I doubt very much if he will get struck off – I cannot even manage a warning in my case. Although, I’m still battling with the appropriate organisations.

I can understand you when you say you have mixed emotions. I’m sure there must be a part of you very pleased about your day in Court (at last the day has come and closure could be looming). To think of all the time, effort, fears and tears it takes to get this far you should be very proud of yourself.

I will be thinking about you on the day. I hope you have something nice planned for after the event.

Onward and upward!

Regards.

Jeannie

When is the court case jane? I am not far from Manchester.

R

Dear Jane

Just to echo every one else’s comments. You have done well to get this far; I hope that justice is done and seen to be done

With very best wishes

K

Hi Jane

Well done Jane, Thoughts with you, here’s to some justice hopefully being done. You seem very focused and determined, much admiration for you. Even the slightest of changes that may come of things like this can only help. Shame it has to have happened for there to be changes. Think they do a lot of changes on the quiet after as well so they don’t look so guilty/accountable. Good Luck Jane and let us know how it goes. When is it?

Lots of thoughts and wishes

JulieL
xxx

As 3rd. September comes into view (the 1st day of 20 of these hearings), I’m thinking of you, Jane. There’s one person who will be more nervous and strung out than any of you making your complaints and raising your voices to remove this weak link from the practice of breast cancer screening and to protect other patients’ rights to the best of the best - that’s a certain Dr. Lan Keng Lun and any other medical professional implicated. I hope they give you more certainty as to which day you may be called and not take 20 days out of your life than Dr. Lan gave you when misdiagnosing your cancer.

I admire your perseverance and say thank-you to you and others who are prepared to give so much time in the pursuit of justice which benefits all of us.
Wishing you well,
Jenny x

The very best of luck …today is the day!!! It takes someone special to do what your doing and I take my hat off to you!! I am sure this will be a very hard journey for you over the next 3 weeks but hopefully it will help heal some of how your feeling and give you a sense of satisfaction!!! I hope your cancer is getting under control and that your prognosis is good…my very best wishes to you and hope you find the strength you need to follow this through…I’m sure you will…lots of love and best wishes LJ xxxx

wish you luck sweetie, when will they learn not to mess with us ladies
they need hauling over the coals
gd luck
cee

All the very best for the next 20 days Jane, your a strong woman don’t take no rubbish off them.

Alison xxx

Hi Jane

I read the report in the Mail today and then your thread tonight from the 22nd Aug. I always read your comments with interest as you seem to be a very knowledgable and forthright person who knows her own mind. Tonight, I felt your tone was different, more vulnerable than usual.

I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you as you re-live this part of your life that I am sure you want to just put behind you. I hope that this persons bad practice is punished, and he ‘should’ be struck off, even if only 1 person had been affected by his incompetancy, but there were more and it is unforgivable. I hope your treatment is progressing well too as you rarely mention yourself in your threads, just the cause. Well done for your contribution thus far.

Irene

Hi Jane,

Thinking of you. You’re doing the right thing.

Best wishes,

Sue

Hi Jane
just wondering if there is any news on your case? I’m thinking about you and hoping developments here are going well for you.
Best
Jo
x