Children’s Surgical Negligence: Calls for Children’s Heart Surgery to Resume in Wales
January 25, 2022
According to recent reports, there are calls for children’s heart surgery to resume in Wales. Currently, under-16s have to travel to England for heart surgery, and have had to do so since 1998. The Welsh government said children are treated across the border where there’s “higher levels of specialism in dealing with these complex conditions”. However, this could mean that there are cases of needless children’s surgical negligence.
Last year, almost 200 children from Wales had heart surgery in Bristol, and many patients in north Wales travelled to hospitals in Liverpool and Birmingham.
GP Dr Graham Thomas, of the Wales Cardiac Network, said cardiac surgery for children was more complex than in adults.
He said: “Children who have complex difficulties with their hearts need to be under expert tertiary centres.
“But, in Wales, there isn’t quite enough of the population [who need cardiac surgery] to justify that.
“Also, because of our geography, in north Wales, we use our expertise in Manchester and Liverpool and in the south, in Bristol.”
The Welsh government said children needing cardiac surgery require “higher levels of specialism” and that centres in England had been established to “achieve the best outcomes”.
“Whilst health boards in Wales offer access to paediatricians with expertise in cardiology, children requiring cardiac surgery are treated at larger centres where they have higher levels of specialism in dealing with these complex conditions.
“There are only 11 centres in England and they typically provide services for a large area which achieves the best outcomes for patients.”
Children’s Surgical Negligence
This extra travel for people in Wales to get to hospitals in England may mean that these children suffer surgical negligence. This could be because, if they were able to have their surgery in Wales, they may be able to have the treatment quicker than they would do by travelling to a hospital that may not necessarily be close to where they live.
This may also lead to delays in treatment, and when delays in treatment involve treatment for the heart, they can have terrible consequences.
If your child suffers surgical negligence due to a delay in surgery or treatment delays, then you may be able to make a medical negligence claim on their behalf.
Claiming on Behalf of a Child
If your child suffers children’s surgical negligence, then you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. When making a claim, there is usually a time limit of three years from the date of the negligence, or your knowledge of the negligence. However, when the negligence involves a child, this time limit does not apply straight away. In cases of children’s hospital negligence, a parent or guardian has until the child turns 18 to make a claim. The child then has until they turn 21 to bring a claim themselves.
How We Can Help
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with medical negligence claims. This includes children’s surgical negligence. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly experts.