Seven patients have serious delayed diagnoses following scans at University Hospital Kerry

Seven patients are now known to have serious delayed diagnoses following scans at University Hospital Kerry.

The information was given to a briefing of TDs and county councillors at the hospital in Tralee by management and HSE representatives this afternoon.

Following three cases of delayed diagnosis coming forward in late July a full audit began on 46,000 scans read by a former consultant radiologist from March 2016 to last July.

Concerns were raised by the public representatives gathered about the workload of the former consultant radiologist over 16 months during which they read and reported on over 46,000 images; that is around 130 a day.

General Manager of University Hospital Kerry, Fergal Grimes said the high volume had been identified and as part of their review they will be looking at the manageable work rate of radiologists.

The review involving ten consultant radiologists is working backwards in chronological order and is expected to be completed in ten weeks, which many of the politicians said was too long.

Management said this look back review, one of the largest ever to take place in the health service, will have no impact on the working operation of the hospital as Mr Grimes explains:

To date, 20,923 images have been reviewed relating to 12,923 patients.

The politicians also hit out at how the HSE has handled the situation saying the 26,000 patients involved should have been informed in July; the HSE said it was following protocol as to not cause unnecessary stress to patients.

A helpline, manned by six staff members, was contacted by over 100 patients by lunchtime and will be open from 9am to 10pm from today until Wednesday.

Concerned patients can call 1800-742-900.