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7 August 2011, 08:35
Compensation's been paid out to five patients at Rotherham General Hospital after they had botched surgery.
More than £750,000 has been paid out, all five had hip or shoulder operations by the same surgeon and suffered serious complications.
The surgery was carried out by Mr Manjit Bhamra, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Rotherham General Hospital between 2005 and 2007 according to the law firm Irwin Mitchell.
The company said more patients may have been affected by the work of Mr Bhamra, who has since left the hospital.
59 year old Wayne Pickering from Cantley in Doncaster, underwent hip revision surgery in February 2006 on his right hip.
During the operation it is alleged the surgeon fractured Mr Pickering's pelvis and damaged the sciatic nerve. Despite identifying the fracture it was not repaired and Mr Pickering was left with an unstable and painful hip, lawyers said.
As a result of the surgery in 2006, Mr Pickering's mobility was seriously impaired and he was not able to return to work. He also developed a chronic pain syndrome.
A repair operation was only done after his lawyers secured an interim payment in May 2009.
Mr Pickering said:
'I went into hospital expecting to have my hip revised and come out the other side in better shape. Instead I found myself in agony and unable to work because I couldn't even walk properly.
'I just hope that the hospital makes sure it has the right people for the job because I would hate for more people to go through what I, and sadly others, have had to endure.''
Irwin Mitchell said the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for the negligent surgery in Mr Pickering's case. Lawyers negotiated a settlement on Mr Pickering's behalf to cover his ongoing care and rehabilitation costs as well as his lost earnings.
In other cases, it is alleged Mr Bhamra used the wrong hip prosthesis on a 23-year-old woman, inserting it incorrectly. The error left the woman needing a complicated revision operation to revise the botched surgery. She has now been left with a lifelong disability which restricts her mobility.
The law firm also represented a 51-year-old woman who had a hip replacement operation in 2006. She was left with a significant discrepancy between the length of her legs as a result of a negligently performed operation, the law firm said.
After three years of pain and problems she had a two-stage revision surgery in 2009 - she had to have her hip joint removed for ten weeks before it was able to be replaced, and has now been left with permanent pain and a lifelong restriction in mobility
Irwin Mitchell is now seeking assurances that any other patients who might have been affected are being appropriately reviewed to ensure any necessary corrective treatment is undertaken.
Tim Annett, from Irwin Mitchell, said:
'This case involved complex orthopaedic surgery and sadly avoidable mistakes were made by the surgeon, which left Mr Pickering with a permanent and severe disability.
'It is one of a number of cases we have successfully concluded relating to surgery carried out by Mr Bhamra, and it is concerning to have this number of cases involving the same surgeon.
'Fortunately we were able to obtain an interim payment to pay for the revision surgery Mr Pickering required, although he should not have had to wait three years after the original surgery for his hip to be repaired.
'The funds we have secured for Mr Pickering will help to pay for the care and rehabilitation he now requires to help rebuild his life. However the original treatment he received and the delay in further revision surgery was simply not acceptable.
'The Trust needs to provide assurances that the same situation cannot be allowed to happen again. Patient safety should be the number one priority of the NHS. It is not just the cost in terms of claims but also the cost to the patient and to the NHS of all the additional medical treatment required when avoidable mistakes are made.'
Walid Al-Wali, Chief Medical Officer for Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed that Mr Bhamra was employed as a full time orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip replacements until September 2007.
She said following an investigation he was referred to the General Medical Council (GMC).
'We understand the GMC investigation is still ongoing and therefore we cannot make any further comment at this stage.
'Whilst we would expect any issues associated with Mr Bhamra's treatment to have emerged well before now, any patient who has a concern should contact their doctor for clinical advice.'