CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HEALTH – BREAST CANCER SCREENING – 2 May 2018

Dr Julian Lewis: While it will be for the review to investigate and report on why the fault with the algorithm was not discovered earlier, can the Secretary of State throw any more light on the circumstances in which it eventually came to be discovered? He said, for example, that it was in the course of a computer upgrade. Obviously, the circumstances that led to its discovery could be a pointer towards greater safeguards for the future.

[The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Mr Jeremy Hunt): That is a very good point. The original issue – or the original potential issue – was identified by people working on the AgeX trial for Oxford University, who then brought it to the attention of Public Health England in early January. One of the issues seems to have been the confusion about whether the scans stopped when someone turned 70 or whether they should carry on until their 71st birthday. That is why we think the original coding error happened, but obviously this is a matter for the review, and we need to learn everything from it.]