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Public inquiry demanded

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

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THE MOTHER of a cervical cancer victim has joined calls for a public inquiry into the recall of hundreds of patients of Rob Jones.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing an undisclosed number of his former patients and is calling for an independent public inquiry.

Sandra Cousins, whose 23-year-old daughter Mercedes died of cervical cancer in December last year, has joined the call. Her daughter's death was not linked to Mr Jones's practice.

"I'm shocked to hear that in the report by the Royal College of Gynaecologists the surgeon seems to have failed to investigate when women were sent to him with abnormal smear test results," she said.

"I know only too well the huge risks women face if cervical cancer is left undetected and untreated and it sickens me that in this day and age, when the technology's there to help women beat the disease, many are battling for their lives unnecessarily.

"The women affected need answers about what's gone wrong and I want to do everything I can to stop others losing their lives to cervical cancer when early detection could have saved them."

Julie Lewis, a partner and medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said a public inquiry would provide answers for the victims and ensure that any systematic failures which allowed Mr Jones to carry on practising were identified and resolved.

Because Mr Jones had retired he was no longer subject to a General Medical Council investigation, she said.

"This is precisely why there needs to be a public inquiry. It's the only way patients will get reassurance that someone is held accountable for the mistakes made during their care so lessons can be learnt to prevent such a large-scale investigation from happening again."

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