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U.K. medical practice mistakenly texts patients they have “aggressive lung cancer” instead of wishing them a merry Christmas

A medical institution in England wanted to send a message to its patients to wish them a Merry Christmas. Instead, a ton of text told the patient that “advanced lung cancer” was spreading and asked them to fill out a form for terminally ill patients.

Exterior photo of Askerne Clinic in England.

Asken Clinic via Facebook


The mass text from Doncaster’s Askern Medical Practice was sent on 23 December, according to the BBC. In it, it states that the doctor asked the recipient to complete Form DS1500. This is for people with terminal illness to apply for benefits, according to another UK hospital system. The text also states that he was diagnosed with “aggressive lung cancer with metastasis.”

In the second text, patients were asked to accept the Center’s “sincere apology”.

It says “This was sent in error”. “Our message to you is to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

The center, which has about 8,000 patients, has not publicly commented on the accident, according to the BBC. The clinic’s last news release, issued in September, acknowledged “excellent patient feedback regarding telephone consultations.”

Carl Chegwin told the BBC his mother was one of the patients who received the text.

“My first thought was, ‘Is this some kind of bad joke? ‘” Chegin said. “It was absolutely amazing…they told people a few days before Christmas that they had terminal lung cancer. They can’t do that.”

Another woman, who asked not to be named, told the outlet the text made her “extremely concerned” because some family members had recently been tested for chest problems. I saw some people panicking about the message.

“I called my doctor and he was put on hold as usual. So I walked around because I lived around the corner and I got the same text so all six I think everyone was panicking,” she said.

The UK’s National Health Service, which oversees publicly funded healthcare, has also not commented on the situation. On the same day the text was sent, the service unrelatedly tweeted, “If you’re grieving, be kind to yourself,” along with information on how to deal with grief during the holiday season.

“What if the message was meant for someone, and they said it was a Christmas message, and they said, ‘Oh no, it was actually meant for you,'” Chegwin said. said. “If it was he one of their admins who sent the bulk of the texts, I wouldn’t trust them to empty the bin.”