THE trust that runs acute hospitals in Worcestershire has been forced to apologise after 22,000 letters about patients were never sent to GPs due to a computer error.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust say the backlog of letters dates from 2011 to 2017.

They should have been sent to GPs about their patients when they attended outpatient appointments or hospital departments, or if follow up care was required.

Chief executive Michelle McKay: “We are sorry that some letters within the trust’s document management system have not been processed properly.

“We regret that this means some patients may not have received the follow-up care they should have.

“We are working closely with our primary care colleagues and partner health organisations to urgently review the individual cases of these patients and to ensure, where appropriate, patients receive the necessary follow-up care quickly.

“An investigation is underway to understand how this has happened, so we can put systems in place to avoid it happening again.

“This is a serious issue which we are working hard to quickly address, however 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 of these patients will have had the appropriate letters sent to ensure they receive the right follow-up care.”

The blunder, which came to light today (August 9), comes in the same week the trust was told to make urgent improvements following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

An initial review of the letters and has found 11,000 of these required no further medical action, with the remaining 11,000 letters now set to be urgently reviewed.

The trust continued to work with general practices to review the outdated letters and anticipate that will be completed by the end of September.

Patients who have been adversely affected by the blunder will be contacted by the trust.

Any patients who feel they may have been adversely affected by this can contact the PALS Service on 0300 123 1732 or via