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Concerns Raised Over NHS Trust’s Audiology Services

Irwin Mitchell Investigates Following Enquiries


Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell has revealed its concerns that a number of patients may have been given substandard care while being treated by Epsom & St Helier University Hospital Trust’s audiology department.

Medical negligence experts have been contacted by families who feel their loved ones were not properly tested in relation to hearing problems, while there is also evidence they might not be the only ones affected.

Jemma Watson, a solicitor based in Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “We have received several enquiries related to this NHS Trust in particular, including one in which a youngster may have lost the chance to ever hear again because of apparent failures in testing carried out at St Helier Hospital.

“One particular cause for concern is a review which was carried out into the services and published in April 2010.”

The review into audiology services was carried out following an audit by the National NHS Newborn Screening Programme that identified worrying areas which needed to be addressed following visits in June and September 2009.  It was found that testing of auditory brain response (ABR) in children was of particular concern and the problems led to the suspension of such procedures.

“One of the enquiries we have had involves a youngster from near Brighton whose hearing impairment appeared to go unnoticed despite several ABR tests carried out at St Helier Hospital,” Jemma added.

“Such problems have led his family to suffer deep frustration and they are keen for answers as to why this may have happened.”

However, Irwin Mitchell is also keen to hear from any other families who believe they may have been affected by the quality of care on offer at the audiology department of Epsom & St Helier University Hospital Trust.

Jemma explains: “Considering the nature of our enquiries and current investigations, we have reason to believe it is likely that a number of patients treated by the department could have been affected by the concerns raised in the review.

“A delay in diagnosis can impact on the type of treatment that patients need, as well as the likelihood of success following any care they have received. We would urge anyone else who thinks they were affected to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Anyone who has any information or believe they have suffered problems like those highlighted above should contact Jemma Watson on 0870 1500 100 or email jemma.watson@irwinmitchell.com.