UH Bristol commissioned an Independent Inquiry
in 2009 to review allegations about its histopathology services and
to consider whether appropriate action had been taken by the Trust
to address these concerns.
The Independent Inquiry, conducted by a panel of
experts and chaired by Jane Mishcon, a leading barrister, published
its report and recommendations on 8 December 2010.
The Inquiry found no evidence to suggest that the histopathology
department at UH Bristol provides anything other than a safe
service and concluded that there had been very few serious
diagnostic errors over an eight year period with a serious adverse
outcome for the patients concerned.
However, the panel had specific concerns about the culture,
attitude and working practices in the department and made
criticisms of the way that the Trust had managed clinical concerns
when they were raised.
UH Bristol apologised unreservedly to any patients who had been
harmed as a result of diagnostic errors by the Trust. The Trust has
offered to meet with any patient (or their relative) who has
questions or concerns about their diagnostic history.
The recommendations from the Inquiry have been implemented through
an integrated action plan, jointly owned by UH Bristol and North
Bristol Trust, with progress reported publicly to the Board and
Membership Council of UH Bristol and to the Bristol Health and
Adult Social Care Scrutiny Commission.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the national regulator for
health and social care, undertook its own review of histopathology
services at UH Bristol in May 2011, following a misdiagnosis which
occurred in December 2010. The CQC found that UH Bristol was
compliant with all six of the essential standards of quality and
safety which it reviewed (and made recommendations to assist
sustained compliance in three of the six areas, which the Trust is
Monitor, the Foundation Trust regulator, undertook a separate
review of governance at UH Bristol in response to the Independent
Inquiry findings and reported that there were no material concerns
about the governance of the Trust.
In line with the final recommendation in the Inquiry report, in
December 2011 the Trust invited the panel to return to review the
steps taken to address their recommendations, which they did in
The panel's findings were received on 19 March and contain a
number of suggestions for continuing focus for both UH Bristol and
North Bristol Trust. The Trusts have prepared a further action plan
to address these issues which is in the process of formal
ratification by both organisations.
Read the panel's findings following its review of
Read the Statement to Board regarding
histopathology services at University Hospitals Bristol NHS
Foundation Trust dated 28 February 2012
copy of the Histopathology Action Plan update dated 21 December
2011 (pages 80-101)
a copy of the Histopathology Action Plan update dated 20 September
2011 (pages 99-116)
copy of the Histopathology Action Plan update dated 10 June
2011 (pages 91-105)
Download a copy of the Histopathology Action
Download a copy of the Histopathology Inquiry panel
Read the statement from Robert Woolley, Chief
Executive, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust on
behalf of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Read the statement from Ruth Brunt, Chief
Executive, North Bristol NHS Trust on behalf of North Bristol NHS
Read the statement from Jane Mishcon, Chair of the
Independent Enquiry Panel
There is also background information on the inquiry
If you have any concerns or require any further information
regarding this issue please call the Patient Support &
Complaints Team on 0117 342 3604 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.