A women's health consumer group says the loss of more than
3800 mammograms is more serious than the Southern District
Health Board has acknowledged.
The board admitted last month it discovered it lost 3850
Southland Hospital images in the middle of last year, and
said nothing for seven months. Because the images had been
read, there was no clinical risk, the health board
Federation of Women's Health Councils co-convener Barbara
Robson, of Feilding, who is also a MidCentral District Health
Board member, did not accept there was no impact from the IT
''While we acknowledge all the images had been read by
doctors and their reports remain in the women's clinical
files and that there was no immediate clinical risk to these
women, we have been perturbed by the lack of comment from
[the health board] about the impact of the loss of those
images from a programme-quality perspective.''
National screening guidelines said images were kept in case
they needed to be referred to again.
''So it may be, in subsequent screening rounds, those women
whose images have been lost will be disadvantaged,'' Ms
Affected women should have been told about the issue.
''The [federation] is also concerned that the programme's
ability to retrospectively review/audit the quality of
radiologists' reporting is compromised to some extent,'' she
Health board women's, children's and public health medical
director Dr Marion Poore, in a written statement, said
clinicians had the written reports to use for comparison.
There was a ''small chance'' women would need additional
testing at their next screening.
Dr Poore released the letter the health board sent to the
affected women. It did not tell them of the possibility of
''The letters we sent stated that those concerned should
contact the hospital to discuss their options.
''We have not had many calls regarding this, but when we do,
our staff explain the course of action women can take to be
screened again,'' Dr Poore said.
Information had also been sent to Gps.