The NHS trust in charge of St Albans City Hospital remain tight lipped about who was responsible for its botched handling of urgent cancer referrals, which may have cost the lives of two patients.

An independent investigation published this week revealed a number of serious leadership failings at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust as patients with suspected cancer were getting lost in the system.

However, the trust has remained tight-lipped on who's is responsible for blunders and will not even say if any staff have faced disciplinary action.

When asked if any staff had been disciplined, trust chief executive Samantha Jones said: "We followed the appropriate human resources policies and procedures in relation to staff involved in this incident, and for confidentiality reasons we are unable to comment further."

She added: "We welcome the findings from the external review report and will carefully reflect and implement actions. We have recently approved and published a comprehensive cancer improvement plan to build on improvements already underway following our internal review. We will continue this work to deliver against these recommendations to ensure patients see real benefits from improved management of cancer referral pathways.

"I apologise unreservedly to the patients and families affected and wish to assure them that we have already put failsafe mechanisms in place to stop these issues arising again. We have published the report to share the findings with our patients and local community and will continue to work in partnership with local and national health partners to ensure all aspects of the cancer referral pathway can be improved to enhance the patient care experience."