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Peterborough hospital admit error in reporting of Covid-19 results

Data published in error by Peterborough hospitals showed a spike on coronavirus infection rates - but the information has now been updated say chiefs.
Peterborough city hospital
Peterborough City Hospital have corrected their figures. Photo: John Baker

The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust wants to reassure residents in Peterborough that the number of people testing positive for coronavirus hasn't increased dramatically after they reported 60 positive cases, and that there was an error in the way the data was reported. It is believed that 58 positive cases were removed from the results. The total number of positive tests in Peterborough are currently at 449. 

Dr Kanchan Rege, medical director at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford Hospitals, said: "We have identified an error in the transmission of data between our pathology laboratory and the national results system, which recorded a batch of patient results being highlighted as positive for Covid-19, when they were in fact negative.

"The incorrect results were quickly identified and the data amended. The results were correctly reported to the patients involved in this issue, and the clinicians treating them. As a result, we can confirm there is no spike in positive Covid-19 data in our local area.

"We would like to reassure our patients that we pride ourselves on providing the best care and we are conducting a thorough investigation along with Public Health England who are also examining their own computer systems to understand how the error occurred and to ensure that there are no wider implications for other laboratories."

Dean Ironmonger, from Public Health England’s (PHE) National Infection Service, said: "PHE noticed a data reporting error and has been working with the hospital to help put measures in place to prevent this happening again. The figures have been adjusted to reflect the correct numbers for Peterborough on the Covid dashboard. The incorrect figures have not affected the weekly infographic or surveillance report."

They confirmed they would be carrying out an audit of hospital laboratories across the country so the incorrect results do not occur again.