A HEREFORD woman who underwent a hysterectomy after being diagnosed with cervical cancer has instructed lawyers to investigate after a health trust admitted it could have been identified six years earlier.

The 47-year-old mother-of-two had undergone regular smear tests until 2012. That year she underwent a smear test and was told by Wye Valley NHS Trust that the results were negative.

While family commitments meant she missed another test in 2015, she booked herself in for one in 2018 after she became concerned about bleeding.

Roughly five weeks later she was told that she had cervical cancer, with a procedure subsequently being undertaken to remove her lymph nodes, ovaries, tubes, cervix and womb.

However, earlier this year she was called back to the hospital and informed that the 2012 test results were reported incorrectly and did indeed show evidence of cancer at that stage.

The woman, who does not wished to be named, has now instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her treatment and seek answers.

Since the cancer diagnosis and her surgery, she said she has suffered feelings of guilt and insecurity and required support from a counsellor.

Physical health problems arising after the surgery have also affected her ability to care for her elderly parents.

“Being told I had cancer is something that I dealt with, it was something to face and fight through,” she said.

“What I could not believe, was being told that six years earlier my results were reported incorrectly and the way that it was handled was deplorable.

“I cannot fault the care I received following my diagnosis but I am still struggling to understand how it got to this point. I have a number of questions about whether things would have been different if my tests results in 2012 had been interpreted correctly.”

Legal expert Jenna Harris, said their client was understandably devastated by the revelations.

“The issue of cervical cancer and the importance of smear tests is highly topical and it is very worrying that issues have seemingly emerged in this instance.

“However, it is important that there is not a loss of confidence in the screening programme and women continue to attend appointments. Early detection is key to beating cervical cancer and saving lives.”

A Wye Valley NHS Trust spokesman said they were aware of the situation but could not comment on sensitive medical information.

The service is now provided by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.