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Worcestershire hospital letters not sent to GPs.

Tens of thousands of hospital appointment follow-up letters were not sent to GPs due to a computer system glitch.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said it had a backlog of 22,000 letters, from 2011 to 2017, about patient appointments and care.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive, Michelle McKay, said that, as a result of the error, some patients might not have received the necessary follow-up care.

The trust contacted patients who were affected and announced an inquiry to establish what went wrong.

An initial review found that patients affected by 11,000 of the missing letters required no further medical actions.

Ms McKay, who apologised that some letters within the trust's management system had not been processed properly, said: "We regret that this means some patients may not have received the follow-up care they should have.

"This is a serious issue which we are working hard to quickly address. We are working closely with our primary care colleagues and partner health organisations to urgently review the individual cases and ensure, where appropriate, patients receive the necessary follow-up care promptly.

"It is important we reassure our local communities that more than half a million patients are seen in our outpatient departments each year and the vast majority will have had the appropriate letters sent to ensure they receive the right follow-up care."

Hospitals run by the trust, which was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in December 2015, include Worcestershire Royal Hospital; Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre; and Alexandra Hospital, Redditch.

The most recent CQC report on the trust said the healthcare watchdog found patients were being cared for in emergency department corridors as standard practice and no "tangible improvements" had been made since an earlier inspection months before.