What is medical imaging?
Medical imaging is the collective term for images generated when we have an x-ray, CT MRI or ultrasound scan. The reports on these images are the basis for diagnosing injuries to our bones, joints and other soft tissue parts of out bodies. We take it for granted that the report on our medical imaging is correct. If the medical imaging report finds nothing wrong, well that’s a cause for celebration. And if the medical imaging report indicates that treatment is required, then treatment is needed. Right?
Are these reports of the images of our bones and joints correct?
No! As i found out to my cost in November 2016. I was shocked by the differences between the NHS and the consultant radiologist reports. In denial, I compared my healthcare records from five hospitals with the injuries reported by the consultant radiologist. Collectively the records identified enough of the reported injuries to support that the independent radiologist report was not exaggerated. As it was highly unlikely that I was the only person whose injuries had not been diagnosed. I came to the conclusion thats others must be walking around with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed injuries as well.
|Barnsley Hospital 10/2011|
|The password provided for the discs of the xrays did not display the images. However it is very clear that for the purposes of this report the xrays were not needed, since the findings were well described.||Dr Julian Chell, Orthopaedic surgeon 04/2015|
|Xray 20/10/11 – this shows the displaced Weber B type fracture of the fibula. There is an obvious dislocation of the talnavicular joint.||On the lateral side there is what i take to be a minimally displaced fractue of the anterior process of the os calci. This as well as the talnovicular dislocation was originally missed. Indeed I missed seeing it originally. It was very difficult to see. ( see fig 1 below)||Dr Martin Bircher Orthopaedic Surgeon & Vice President of the Royal Surgeons 2015||Dr Martin Bircher reviewing his own expert opinion in 2016.|
|Xray 20/10/11 – Weber B fracture of the right fibula, Dislocation of the talnavicular joint. Dislocation of the subtalar joint||Dr Heidari, Orthopaedic surgeon 10/2015|
|Xray 20/11/11 – there is a mildly displaced oblique fracture with significant soft tissue swelling. There is a loss of alignment of the subtalar joint suggestive of a subtalar dislocation. There is also a superior subluxation of the talus in relation to the talo-navicular (TN) in keeping with TN joint subluxation. There is a fracture of the anterior porcess of the calcaneum||Dr Naryanaswamy, Consultant Radiologist 11/2016|
CT 22/03/12 – there is an old ununited fracture of the anterior process of the calcaneum. OA changes of the talo-navicular, calcaneal cuboid and the joint between the cuboid and lateral cuneiform noted. A loose fragment noted adjacent to the sustentalculum talli. Healed fracture of the fibula noted. No other abnormalities noted.
|Barnsley Hospital (3/2012)|
|The password provided for the discs of the CT scan did not display the images. However it is very clear that for the purposes of this report the a review of CT scan was not needed since the findings were well described.||Dr Julian Chell, Orthopaedic Surgeon (04/2015)|
|i reviewed these reports and the CT is accurate. There is a small flake of bone near the sustentalculum and a possible healed fracture of the sustentalculum itself. There is a flake of bone at the tip of the anterior process of the os calci.||Dr Martin Bircher Orthopaedic Surgeon & Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons. (2015 and 2016)|
|CT RIGHT FOOT (22/03/2012)Bones generally look osteopenic. Previous Fracture of distal fibula is noted which demonstrates partial bony union medially. The ankle joint alignment appear to be preserved.||There is small bony fragment noted adjacent to the middle subtalar jointmedially measuring 10mm, most likely to represent an old fracture fragment. Further 3 mm bony fragment is seen in sinus tarsi.There are multiple small bony fragments noted adjacent to the anterior process of calcaneum suggestive of old fracture fragments. In addition the healed fracture also appear to extend to involve the articular margin at the superior aspect of the calcaneo-cuboid joint. The subtalar joint alignment is however well preserved. There are secondary degenerative changes in the Talnavicular joint, calcaneo-cuboid joint as evidenced by mild joint space narrowing. There is further old fracture of the lateral cuneiform bone and dorsal aspect of the cuboid bone.Tarsometatarsal articulation appear to be well preserved except for mild narrowing of the 3rd and 4th tarsometatarsal joints.||Dr Naryanaswamy, Consultant Radiologist (11/2016)|
As all the Orthopaedic surgeons who read the X-rays and CT scans managed an accuracy of 50% why is it common practice that (…) 117 trusts (87.3%) delegated the reporting of plain film X-rays of the limbs from orthopaedic referral sources to the orthopaedic doctors. This was for fracture clinics, outpatient clinics and/or post-operative orthopaedic plain film X-rays. CQC Radiology review 08/2018. Don’t trust your bone health to the NHS. Get a second opinion.
The NHS regulatory bodies ignored my concerns
I assumed that the NHS hospitals and later on, the regulatory bodies of the NHS did not know about the problems associated with misdiagnosis and substandard medical imaging reports. My emails were ignored. I cascaded my concerns to the care quality commission (CQC). Whose function is to regulate the treatment standards within the NHS. They refused to investigate and suggested i take my concerns to my MP, PHSO or NHS England. So i tried again. I contacted my MP and NHS England ignored my written words. PHSO redirected me to the CQC. The CQC sign posted me back to PHSO. PHSO, commonly referred to as the NHS ombudsman, sent me back to the CQC. I decided to stop playing their game and headed for the web.
The CQC knew about the poor quality reporting but didn’t want it to be public knowledge!
They knew, they just wanted to hide this from you. Otherwise, why would the CQC investigate and publish this report on the damming findings on the poor quality of medical imaging in the UK. This was dated August 2018.
The CQC’s radiology review report about the poor quality of medical imaging in the NHS.
The NHS Regulatory bodies are paid to protect out health interests. They are paid to prevent problems within the NHS. They were aware of the problem with medical imaging but they chose not to correct them.
Do you feel this is acceptable? Have the CQC acted in our best interests? Or have they abused the money and trust of the British taxpayer. Should the board and CEO of the CQC be forced to resign and replaced with people who will act in our best interests. Should they should be charged with Misconduct in public office.
Why not email your thoughts on the CQC’s performance to the Secretary for Health, your local MP, the CEO of NHS England and PHSO?
To view the CQC contact details page, Click here
Get a second opinion!
In the long term the aim would be that there are robust auditing and training in place within the nhs so mistakes with xrays etc do not happen. In the meantime, if you have a whisper of doubt that there is a problem with your imaging reports, you must seek a second opinion. Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, just do it. Now!
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