British medical practice sends cancer diagnoses to patients instead of Christmas greetings

Hundreds of patients at a doctor’s office in northern England mistakenly received a message diagnosing them with cancer instead of Christmas greetings, The Sun daily reported on Thursday (December 29).

“Diagnosis: aggressive lung cancer with metastases”. Here is the message received by several hundred patients from a doctor’s office in the north of England instead of Christmas greetings, according to The Sun newspaper on Thursday 29 December.

The facts took place on 23 December at 3.49pm when patients at Askern Health Centre, near the town of Doncaster, received a text message on their phones informing them of this alarming diagnosis.

In doing so, they were asked to fill in the forms, all of which ended with a simple “thank you”.

A few minutes later, at 4.11pm, the Cabinet, realizing its huge mistake, sent back a message to offer a “sincere apology”. “This was sent to you in error. Our message should have been: We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.

A message that does not get through to patients

Nevertheless, despite the apologies, the news greatly upset patients, with some of them posting a screenshot of the messages on the company’s Facebook group along with text illustrating their annoyance.

“Another huge mistake from lousy doctors,” Carl Chegwin wrote, while another user replied in the comments: “Everyone in Askern got this message !!”.

According to The Sun, among the recipients of the message was a 57-year-old father who was awaiting the results of tests to determine whether he was suffering from lung cancer. Chris Reed told the tabloid he tried calling the office but got no answer because the line was busy. He then went down there and it was at this point that the nursing staff told him that the tests were negative.

The incident comes as relations are often strained between Britons and their “general practitioners”, those health centers in the public health system where they are supposed to be monitored and treated for free but are overwhelmed after years of austerity.

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