Spinal Operations Suspended After Patient Deaths
In a surprise announcement made today it has been confirmed that all spinal surgery at a hospital Trust in the North East of England has been suspended following a number of incidents, including the death of two patients.
The Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation are responsible for the management and services provided at Warrington Hospital, Halton General Hospital and the Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre and provides care for over 500,000 patients. Today’s announcement confirms that four serious incidents have occurred involving spinal surgery patients over a six-month period and tragically, two of those patients died although it is not yet known whether other factors were involved.
An external review of spinal services is now being undertaken, and until the results are known, all spinal surgery has been suspended for the foreseeable future. The Trust and its Commissioners have invited the Royal College of Surgeons to undertake a comprehensive review of current spinal services, and has issued an apology to all patients waiting for surgery for the disruption of the service and inconvenience this will cause.
In a statement, the Trust’s Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Professor Simon Constable said “Although these incidents appear very different from each other, as a precautionary measure the Trust, working with our Commissioners and Regulators, has temporarily stopped doing spinal procedures until a full external review has been undertaken. Although these incidents appear very different from each other, as a precautionary measure the Trust, working with our Commissioners and Regulators, has temporarily stopped doing spinal procedures until a full external review has been undertaken. We understand that this may cause concern for patients on our waiting list or being referred in to our services, and we sincerely apologise for this. We will do our best to support patients at this time”.
This is not the first time that safety has come under the spotlight at the Trust; a Care and Quality Commission inspection carried out in July 2015 concluded that safety of services provided by the Trust required improvement
Concerned patients can contact the Trust’s call centre on 01925 662416 and 01925 662335 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
Our Solicitors in the Medical Negligence Team at Wolferstans have represented a wealth of clients who have found themselves in the unfortunate position of suffering complications directly as a result of spinal surgery and understand the devastating impact that this can have on a patient and their family.
If you or a member of your family have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence and you would like to receive some free initial legal advice, without obligation, please contact Jodie O’Connor on 01752 292360 or email her at jo’firstname.lastname@example.org