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Grandmother’s cancer torment after Norfolk hospital’s ‘admin error’

PUBLISHED: 18:14 24 October 2012 | UPDATED: 09:48 25 October 2012

Horsford grandmother Ros Starling who was wrongly diagnosed with cancer by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at home with her husband John. She has received an apology. Photo: Steve Adams

Horsford grandmother Ros Starling who was wrongly diagnosed with cancer by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at home with her husband John. She has received an apology. Photo: Steve Adams

Hospital bosses have apologised after a grandmother who visited for routine surgery was wrongly diagnosed with cancer.

Ros Starling, 69, of Horsford, and her family were horrified to discover her discharge sheet from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) said she had bladder cancer – and that she was aware of this information.

But Mrs Starling said the diagnosis came completely out of the blue – and she had “three weeks of worry” as she waited to find out if it was true.

An administrative error has been blamed for the misdiagnosis.

Mrs Starling has made an official complaint to the N&N, although she added staff have since been in touch to apologise and explain what happened.

The mother-of-three said the care she received from medical staff was “first class”, although she was frustrated that their hard work in the wards was being undermined by administrative issues.

Mrs Starling, whose husband John is a Broadland district councillor, said: “It was a worrying time for me and the family. I have three sons and daughters-in-law who were concerned about my health.

“I was delighted to find out I don’t have cancer but I’ve had three weeks of worry, which should not have been the case.

“I hope it doesn’t happen again.”

A Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital spokesman said: “We are very sorry that the incorrect information appeared in the letter to Mrs Starling which was due to an administrative error.

“The consultant in charge of Mrs Starling’s care telephoned her earlier this week to apologise and we have also sent a written letter of apology. No other patients were affected by this mistake.”

For more on how Mrs Starling found out about the error and the hospital’s reponse, see today’s paper.

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