Medical practice accidentally texted patients false diagnosis of "aggressive lung cancer" instead of holiday message

Doncaster, England's Askern Medical Practice meant to send a mass text to thousands of its registered patients wishing them happy holidays. Unfortunately, this the text that they actually received: "Diagnosis – Aggressive lung cancer with metastases. Thanks."

Ummm… ooops?

From BBC News:

[The text] directed patients to fill out a DS1500 form, which allows people with terminal diseases to claim certain benefits.

However, about an hour later people received a second text telling them it was an error and it was meant to wish them a merry Christmas instead.

[Patient Sarah] Hargreaves said after she received the original text while she was out shopping, she "felt sick to my teeth and broke down".

She added: "I had just had a mole removed and was awaiting a result from a biopsy and I had been to hospital as my smear test came back abnormal, so yes, I was very worried."

Despite repeated calls to the surgery, she said she struggled to get through to speak to someone.

image: BBC News