News & Insights: Healthcare

Radiology Review Identifies Major Discrepancies

28 July 2021

A radiology review prompted by concerns of the work of a locum consultant has identified 12 major discrepancies in the reading of radiology images, so far. The Northern Trust Medical Director, Dr Seamus O’Reilly stated, “Most of these concern CT scans where inaccurate initial reading of the scans could, or is likely to, have had an impact on the patient’s clinical treatment and outcome.”

The Trust’s Radiology Review relates to the work of a locum consultant radiologist who was engaged by the Trust from July 2019 to February 2020 and reported on 13,030 images during that time. The review concerns radiology images taken in Antrim Area Hospital, Causeway Hospital, Whiteabbey Hospital, Mid Ulster Hospital as well as the Ballymena Health and Care Centre. More than 9,000 patients were informed that their images were being reviewed.

So far, the Review Panel have completed the review of 2,434 images, almost one fifth of the total. Each image is being categorised on a scale from one to five levels, with a Level 5 category meaning that no discrepancy has been found up to Level 1, meaning that a major discrepancy has been identified that could have had immediate and significant clinical impact. The Level 2 category also concerns a major discrepancy, with probable clinical impact. Dr Seamus O’Reilly confirmed that to date, there are 12 Level 1’s and 2’s.

A further 88 images have been categorised as Level 3 which means there was a minor discrepancy, but unlikely to have had any impact on the patient’s care or treatment.

Dr O’Reilly has advised that they hope to complete the process as soon as possible and send out closure letters to those patients who’s review of images has confirmed no cause for concern.

Clearly anyone caught up in this latest recall will not be put at ease until they have been furnished with an all-clear by the Trust.

O’Reilly Stewart Healthcare is acting on behalf of many patients caught up in recalls in Northern Ireland. If you or any member of your family has been affected by the issues raised then please don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice (02890321000,

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