The maxillofacial surgery service at Leicester Royal Infirmary performed reconstructive surgery on patients who had suffered from head and neck cancer. The Royal College of Surgeons visited the service in November 2016, as safety concerns had been raised by dental trainees. The service was thereafter suspended. Leicester Royal Infirmary have since contacted 101 patients who had surgery between 2009 and 2016 who might have experienced harm. 13 patients responded and stated that they felt they had ‘definitely suffered physical harm’ and 1 patient suggested that they had suffered ‘psychological harm’.
Andrew Furlong, medical director at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, has apologised to the patients on behalf of the Trust and expressed that he was disappointed that this has happened., He said that patients have suffered complications with eating, swallowing and talking after having surgery in the maxillofacial department.
He also said that the cosmetic results of the surgery ‘weren’t as good as they could have been if different reconstructive techniques had been used.’ This raises concerns as to whether any further patients have been harmed.
The BBC’s East Midlands health correspondent, Rob Sissons states in a BBC article that the case raises concerns over data collection in the NHS, as it took a visit from dental trainees from the Royal College of Surgeons to raise the issue and expose the failings.
The Trust is however working with NHS England to improve the system and minimise the risk of this happening again.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.