Lawyers Urge Review After Multiple Claims Against Same Surgeon

Concern raised following hip and shoulder surgeries

08.08.2011

08/08/2011

Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell are seeking assurances from Rotherham General Hospital that patients are being reviewed after a number of people came forward when they suffered serious complications following hip and shoulder surgery by the same surgeon.

The claims, five of which the Hospital has settled, relate to hip and shoulder replacement surgery between 2005 and 2007 carried out by Mr Manjit Bhamra, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Rotherham General Hospital, and it is believed that others may have been affected. Mr Bhamra has since left the hospital.

Wayne Pickering, 59, from Cantley in Doncaster, underwent hip revision surgery by Mr Bhamra on 27 February 2006 on his right hip. However during the operation 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.

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 medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors secured an interim payment for Mr Pickering in May 2009. Despite the operation being successful in terms of making the hip more stable it has not resolved his pain or disability.

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. Thankfully the team at Irwin Mitchell were able to help with my recovery and I was able to have the surgery I needed to repair my hip.

“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.”

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for the negligent surgery in Mr Pickering’s case. Irwin Mitchell negotiated a considerable settlement on Mr Pickering’s behalf to cover his ongoing care and rehabilitation costs as well as his lost earnings.

The law firm is now seeking assurances that any other patients who might have been affected are being appropriately reviewed to ensure any necessary corrective treatment is received as swiftly as possible.

Tim Annett, a specialist in the medical law and patients’ rights team at 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.”