A MIDLANDS hospital trust is under investigation after it was found to have a backlog of more than 11,000 X-ray examinations, it was revealed yesterday.
Scans used to diagnose serious health problems for more than 10,000 patients have not been assessed and written up.
Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) staged an unannounced inspection of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust in July following complaints from the public.
The backlog includes urgent cases, according to an unnamed radiology manager at the trust, some stretching back two years.
The trust has announced it plans to call in private health firms to help tackle the 11,722 backlog.
Trust chief executive Chris Tidman said: “Today I can announce that we will be commissioning an independent peer review into radiology services.“We continue to work closely with the CQC around our governance processes for dealing with the reporting of routine X-rays.
“Due to increasing pressures on our radiology department, priority has been given to the more complex scans such as CT, MRI and ultrasound, leading to a recent increase in the number of overdue plain film reports.
“While we accept that these delays are unacceptable, we will now use this issue as an opportunity for the radiology team to put in place stronger governance arrangements.”
The trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, faces a £58 million deficit by the end of 2016, more than double last year’s £27.6m.
According to Health Emergency campaign group’s John Lister, 148 out of 156 hospital trusts in Britain face deficits, most of them running into many millions of pounds.