We’re increasingly seeing a need for more private healthcare oversight. Accordingly, we wrote recently about the extensive harm caused to thousands of breast cancer patients by Ian Paterson. These incidents came while he was under employment by the private healthcare provider Spire Healthcare at three of their facilities, as well as two NHS hospitals.
If you’re not already aware of the Paterson case, here it is in short. Paterson undertook a faulty version of a mastectomy that didn’t remove all breast tissue. Because of this, cancer returned in some of his patients; some would even die as a result.
Furthermore, Paterson also misdiagnosed many patients with breast cancer. Then, he persuaded them to undergo surgery and rounds of chemotherapy, causing them immense and unnecessary physical and mental trauma.
The new allegations
It’s now clear that Spire Healthcare uses the services of another surgeon, Michael Walsh, specialising in shoulder surgery. Allegations show Walsh performed unnecessary operations on patients between 2012 and 2018 that left many in pain, traumatised and unable to work.
Spire is reaching out to nearly 200 people under Walsh’s treatment. The firm says that they can confirm almost 50 that came to harm from Walsh. In addition to breaking this story, The Guardian has also published a first-person account from one of Walsh’s patients too. It is important to note that these are allegations at this stage though and nothing has been proven yet.
To their credit, Spire Healthcare did act when concerns came forth about Walsh. He was let go and Spire have shared the findings of their investigation with both the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the General Medical Council (GMC). It should be said that Walsh has now retired and is no longer registered as a doctor.
In addition to Paterson and Walsh though, other Spire surgeons, including Habib Rahman and Manu Nair, face similar claims. Rahman and Nair, in contrast, for surgeries that were either unnecessary, inadequate or wrong. In total, Spire Healthcare is currently investigating the treatment given to 217 patients of Rahman.
Like Walsh, Rahman is also a shoulder surgeon. Specifically, his work at Spire’s Parkway hospital in the West Midlands is in question. This comes although he continues working at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Meanwhile, allegations say that Dr Nair, formerly of Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, performed unnecessary surgeries on patients he had incorrectly diagnosed as having prostate cancer.
However, there was minimal action from GMC following a three-year investigation other than the prevention of Dr Nair from continuing to work in private healthcare.
Our view on private healthcare oversight
It does seem then that questions need asking about the culture at Spire Healthcare. In effect, multiple surgeons working across a range of different specialisms have had allegations of misdiagnosing serious conditions. Subsequently, they are then performing surgeries that cause significant mental and physical harm to patients.
The details emerging following the investigations into Paterson and Dr Nair are grim. Even worse, it appears surgeons working for Spire Healthcare may work with little to no oversight or supervision. Therefore, it may be that Spire must implement new standards and working practices. Standards that cover surgeons and other medical staff to ensure malpractice doesn’t continue going forward.
Ultimately, all medical staff have a duty of care to their patients. There’s a reasonable expectation by law to provide a certain standard of care.
If the care fails and causes harm, it’s only right that patients claim compensation for losses they suffer. This applies to both the NHS and private healthcare providers. If you suffer harm at the hands of medical staff while undergoing treatment, you deserve compensation. But as for the oversight of consultants in the medical field, simply switching from private to public medicine presents a new level of complication.
How we can help with private healthcare oversight
At The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who specialise in cases where misdiagnoses and unnecessary surgeries that cause harm have taken place. All of the solicitors we work with have a proven track record in these kinds of cases. Accordingly, they can help you to successfully claim the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled.
In your initial consultation with our advisors, we’ll talk to you in detail on a free no-obligation basis about the particular circumstances. After, we’ll match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your claim.
If you do decide to proceed, your solicitor will collect any evidence. Furthermore, they’ll contact any witnesses to help build the strongest possible case to support the claim. These witness statements, along with the other evidence they gather, will help to support your case. They can prove entitlement to compensation but also to show the extent of the physical and emotional suffering. Eventually, they can help ensure the amount of compensation you seek is fair.
If you have any concerns and would like some advice to see if you, your friend or relative may have a case, do not hesitate to contact us via the contact form on our homepage or by calling 0161 413 8761.