GP surgery accidentally texts patients they have 'aggressive lung cancer' - instead of Happy Christmas

A GP surgery in Doncaster accidentally texted patients that they had "aggressive lung cancer" - instead of wishing them a merry Christmas.

Askern Medical Practice reportedly made the unfortunate error on the afternoon of Friday 23 December, telling patients they had metastatic cancer.

About 20 minutes later a follow-up message conveyed the surgery's "sincere apologies" for the previous text and said they had meant to wish everyone happy holidays.

"At first I thought is this some kind of sick joke?" Carl, 42, told Sky News.

He was one of a number of people believed to have received the worrying message.

"And then I am like well I do smoke so do they know something I don't?

"I kind of sat there and worried about it for a while, it really stressed me out," he added.

The first message also referred to a DS1500 form, which is issued to people believed to be suffering from a potentially terminal illness.

"I thought what the hell, have I got cancer? Have I got terminal lung cancer?"

When his mother told him that she had received the same message, it became clear that it was not a genuine diagnosis.

"That's enough to destroy someone," Carl said.

Carl, from Doncaster, said the second text which apologised for the diagnosis message was "absolutely disgusting".

He said it felt like the surgery was trying to "nonchalantly" sweep the issue aside.

Carl says he has been registered at the surgery for 30 years but is now switching following this incident.

Sky News has approached Askern Medical Practice for comment.