Portsmouth x-ray inquiry finds error rate 'acceptable'

An investigation of Portsmouth Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust regarding mistakes in checking the x-rays of two patients who later died has found these mistakes were within an acceptable error rate, according to a BBC report.

The finding is part of a larger inquiry into the trust, specifically Queen Alexandra Hospital, which began last December by the Care Quality Commission when it was discovered that thousands of x-rays acquired there were not being read by expert radiologists because of a backlog of work.

The two patients died after junior doctors missed lung cancers, but the trust avowed the performance of these doctors did not result in increased rates of harm to patients, the BBC reported. An assessment conducted by the consultancy firm Verita for the trust agreed, stating the hospital's radiology department had deprioritized expert reviews of x-rays after determining the risk to patients was small, and the junior doctors had "performed within the accepted error rate of a qualified radiologist," according to the BBC.

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