A Northampton mother who almost died after doctors failed to spot that she was suffering from cancer has been awarded compensation.
Claire Millward, 37, was told by doctors that the tests showed she was in the clear.
However, cancer was detected when she insisted her GP perform a smear test in February 2008.
Northampton General Hospital was accused of negligence as they could have spotted early signs of the cervical cancer in tests performed three and five years prior.
To add insult to injury, she was wrongly told by medics at the hospital that she was suffering from ovarian cancer, which has a substantially lower survival rate when compared to cervical cancer. For two weeks she believed she was almost certainly going to die.
As a result, she underwent an unnecessary hysterectomy, denying her to opportunity to have more children.
Mrs Millward decided to contact injury lawyers, who took up the case. The hospital has now admitted liability and paid £50,000 in compensation.
Neil Clayton, who represented Mrs Millward, said: “Though mistakes like those in Claire’s case are very rare, they highlight the need for hospitals to regularly review and monitor their cervical screening processes.”
Claire, who has thankfully overcome the cancer, said: “When I went for the smear test in February 2008, my mother had just died of cancer and then it was all over the news about [TV star] Jade Goody’s cervical cancer.
“I’m not normally a pushy person, but something in me made me say to the receptionist I wasn’t leaving until I got an emergency test booked.
“I’m so glad I did, if not I would have been dead by June.
“If nothing else comes of my story I want to encourage people to have a smear test that might save your life, like Jade Goody saved mine.”
A spokesman for Northampton General Hospital said: “We have apologised to Mrs Millward for the failings.
“We accept that, regrettably, those smears were incorrectly reported and that this may have contributed to a delayed diagnosis of glandular neoplasia. We are truly sorry for those errors.
“We carry out thousands of cervical smear tests annually, and we would like to reassure all our patients that this is a most exceptional case.
“Nevertheless we are determined to learn from it and we have reviewed our procedures to ensure there is no recurrence of the failings experienced by Mrs Millward.”