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Posted on 17th January 2017

Failed cancer checks killed mum

In 2003 Elaine Lapworth was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a common bowel disease with a known cancer risk, if not screened properly.

Mrs Lapworth had regular screenings for ten years until 2003, and then they forgot to call her for the vital screening for nine years due to an administrative error 

The mum-of-three fell ill in August 2012 and received the devastating diagnosis that she had an advanced form of bowel cancer that was related to her condition. She died two months later.

Husband Kenneth, a part-time delivery driver from Tamworth, Staffordshire, told the Mirror: “We weren’t experts, so we never thought to question why our hospital and GP were not asking her to attend check-ups.

“She saw her GP repeatedly to get prescriptions for the ulcerative colitis medicine, but the need for ongoing screening was never mentioned.”

The family have been awarded £150,000 compensation from The George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, which apologised to Mr Lapworth for the “avoidable pain and suffering” faced by Mrs Lapworth. 

Kath Kelly, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, said: “On behalf of the Trust I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the apology made to Mr Lapworth in our letter of August 11, 2016 for the avoidable pain and suffering suffered by his wife and loss experienced by his family.

“I appreciate that no sum of money can compensate Mr Lapworth for his loss but hope that the compensation received following the settlement last summer has gone some way towards acknowledging the pain suffered by him, his late wife and their family.”

When Mrs Lapworth became ill she visited her GP on numerous occasions. Each time she was told it was a virus, despite her history and her condition having a risk of cancer.

Eventually tests were carried out, but it was too late. Her cancer had spread to other parts of her body.

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