NHS Trust Sorry Over Surgeon Error

Botched Hip Operation


The family of a pensioner who died following a botched hip operation has received an apology from an NHS Trust in Lincolnshire.

At an inquest into the death of 94-year-old Ena Dickinson, it was heard that a German locum surgeon made the wrong incision during the operation.

Sleaford Register Office heard that Dr Werner Kolb severed an artery and removed bone that should have remained intact.

Coroner Stuart Fisher was told a consultant from Grantham Hospital had to intervene to stop the pensioner dying on the operating table.

Mrs Dickinson was left unable to walk following the operation on August 20, 2008, and died two months later.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it had changed the way it recruited staff after Mr Fisher recorded a narrative verdict following the inquest.

A spokeswoman said: "The trust has apologised to Mrs Dickinson's family for mistakes made during her operation on August 20, 2008.

"Changes have been made to the recruitment of medical staff, including the appointment of locums, and a new surgical safety checklist produced by the World Health Organisation has now been implemented throughout the trust."

The General Medical Council said Dr Kolb has been suspended from practising in the UK.

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Beth Reay from law firm Irwin Mitchell’s medical law and patients rights team said: “We have been dismayed by the recent press coverage concerning locum doctors who have not been subjected to proper checks before being placed in roles within the NHS. Medical accidents can be devastating for patients and their families; it is vitally important that any doctor who is recruited to treat patients is suitably qualified because of the crucial role they play in ensuring the safety of their patients.”