Ison Harrison’s Barnsley-based clinical negligence team are appealing for women and families to get in touch if they have been misdiagnosed with an inaccurate breast screening at Barnsley Hospital, as an investigation continues into nine women who have had to return for new consultations.

This comes at the end of the annual Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, and highlights the need for women to come forward and use the support and information available to them, which our expert legal team can provide.

The ongoing investigation at Barnsley Hospital has sparked major concern amid the local community, and our Barnsley branch have been at the sharp end of this. Sally Child is a paralegal specialising in clinical negligence who lives in Barnsley and has already spoken with and provided support for local people who have raised concerns about breast cancer, and specifically the spate of inaccurate screenings at the local hospital.

At such a sensitive time, Sally has been able to host coffee mornings and drop-in appointments to support the local community with confidential meetings which carry no obligation. This provides the opportunity for women and families affected by breast cancer or with concerns about it, to meet with each other and create a support network, which is crucially important at such uncertain times.

Offering Breast Cancer Support To The Local Barnsley Community

Sally has also been supported by her colleague Rachel Alderson, who is a Chartered Legal Executive within our clinical negligence department. As a team, Ison Harrison are dealing with multiple cancer cases linked to Barnsley Hospital. This has added momentum to a need identified within Ison Harrison to provide support for local people in coming forward and discussing their concerns relating to the misdiagnosis of breast cancer. And importantly, this support is not restricted to making any legal claim and is open to all women and families with worries about these developments at Barnsley Hospital.

We asked Sally and Rachel to detail their views regarding the impact of delayed breast cancer diagnosis.

Q: Why is it important to diagnose breast cancer early?

Sally says: “The early detection of breast cancer is critical in starting the treatment process before the cancer spreads and also in ensuring the correct course of treatment is identified. Plus, if the worst happens and a misdiagnosis takes place, if this is identified early it increases the ability to correct the treatment course before it is too late.”

Rachel Alderson
Rachel Alderson – Clinical Negligence Expert

Rachel says: “The earlier a diagnosis of breast cancer is made, the greater the chance that treatment will be successful. Any delay in diagnosis, or providing incorrect treatment, can have an impact on the overall outcome which can be devastating to both patients and their families.”

Q: What happens if I have been affected by a delayed diagnosis or an inaccurate diagnosis?

Rachel says: “If there is a delay in diagnosis, or you have received an inaccurate diagnosis, this may have altered the treatment options available to you. For example: treatment options which would have been available with earlier diagnosis may no longer be suitable; you may require surgery which would have been avoided with earlier treatment; and/or your outcome may have been significantly affected.

Whilst there is nothing that can be done to rectify this, you may be able to make a clinical negligence for damages to compensate you or your family for the financial losses you have sustained as a result of the hospital’s failure. Where failures have been identified, the hospital may also put steps in place to stop this from happening again.”

Sally says: “You may be able to make a claim for clinical negligence if it can be proven that there was a delay in you receiving the correct diagnosis and this led to you receiving the wrong treatment, or the correct treatment was received too late.”

Q: What should I do if I think I have a genuine claim for the misdiagnosis of breast cancer?

Rachel says: “You should contact your local Ison Harrison branch as soon as possible and we can provide you with the support and information you need to advise on your legal rights, along with advice on whether you have grounds to pursue a clinical negligence case.”

Ison Harrison Solicitors Support Misdiagnosis Cases in Barnsley

The investigation being carried out at Barnsley Hospital is not the only reason why cancer misdiagnosis is in the news in the local area.

Hannah Wilson, a 41-year-old woman from Tankersley in Barnsley, died in April 2021 after Barnsley Hospital failed to correctly interpret/report on histopathology following surgery in 2012 to excise a cancerous polyp in her bowel. In 2021, Hannah was subsequently diagnosed with bowel cancer while 30 weeks pregnant with her second child. She gave birth to her daughter one week later at which point she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer. Seven weeks after her daughter’s birth, Hannah sadly died at Barnsley Hospice.

Ison Harrison’s Rachel Alderson was instructed to investigate the circumstances leading to Hannah’s death. Following an investigation into the care provided to Hannah, The Trust responsible for Barnsley Hospital admitted that had the histopathology been correctly reported/interpreted in 2012, Hannah would have been offered resectional surgery at that time. Had this taken place, Hannah’s cancer would not have re-occurred and she would have survived.

Hannah’s family have been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley Award 2022 after raising nearly £40,000 in her memory and donating it to cancer treatment hospices in Barnsley. They have also been raising awareness on the importance of detecting cancer early and the perils of misdiagnosis.

This ‘Proud of Barnsley’ nomination has given added momentum to Ison Harrison’s campaign to support local people. It also highlights the value in the open-door policy we have at our Barnsley office for people to come forward and speak with Sally and Rachel, our specialist clinical negligence legal experts.

Both Sally and Rachel will be attending the Proud of Barnsley awards in November, in support of Hannah Wilson’s family.

Speaking as a local Barnsley resident and a member of our Barnsley branch, Sally commented:

“This particular case means a lot to me personally as I have known Hannah’s sister for many years and it is a privilege to be able to support them at this terrible time. I am also a mum and can’t comprehend how Hannah must have felt knowing her children would grow up without her.”

A more historical case relating to Barnsley Hospital has also been successfully settled by Ison Harrison in recent years. This relates to a woman who had been undertaking smear tests at the hospital since 2005, but developed cervical cancer and died in March 2014. An out-of-court settlement was agreed by Ison Harrison after evidence proved that a delayed diagnosis caused the woman’s death. An important addendum to this story is that the Barnsley Hospice that treated the woman was able to recover its costs through the settlement received by the woman’s family, which highlights another reason why it is important for women and families to come forward and understand their legal rights.

Our Clinical Negligence Solicitors Are Here To Help

Ison Harrison are at the forefront of raising awareness of cancer misdiagnosis in Barnsley and we are keeping a close eye on the ongoing investigation into inaccurate breast screenings at Barnsley Hospital. We are here to help anyone who may have concerns about inaccurate breast cancer screenings and / or cancer misdiagnosis.

Speaking from our Barnsley office on Regent Street, in the heart of the town centre, Sally added:

“The hospital involved services all my family and friends, and many of my family members are of breast screening age. It could literally have been my mother or auntie and I would want them to get the best support possible in such difficult circumstances.”

Free Cancer Misdiagnosis Advice – Listen To Our Podcast

We recently produced an episode of our ‘Legally Speaking’ podcast discussing the delay and misdiagnosis of cancer, which will provide some useful information.

Listen here:

For further advice, please contact Sally Child ( or Rachel Alderson ( directly or call our Barnsley clinical negligence team on 01226 337840.

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