Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell acting for NHS patients operated on by colorectal surgeon Dr Tony Dixon in Bristol have spoken out after a North Bristol NHS Trust admitted dozens of patients should not have undergone operations.
The Trust has revealed that 57 patients should have been offered alternative treatments before undergoing mesh surgery, at Southmead Hospital and the former Frenchay Hospital.
The Trust admitted that it was “unacceptable” that patients who did not require surgery were operated on and have apologised.
Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are representing 49 people operated on by Mr Dixon through the NHS or privately at Spire Hospital in Bristol.
Expert Opinion"Many patients, including our clients, have had a number of concerns about whether procedures they underwent were appropriate.
“Today’s announcement by North Bristol NHS Trust is extremely concerning and understandably has caused a great deal of distress to our clients. The Trust should now openly publish its findings to the patients concerned – rather than force them to get to the truth only through a stressful litigation process.
“It is welcome that the Trust has now made public that 57 needlessly underwent surgery. It is vital that reasons why this was allowed to happen are established.” Sallie Booth - Partner
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The procedures patients have complained about include Laparoscopic Ventral Mesh Rectopexy and Stapled Transanal Rectal Resection (STARR) whereby mesh and surgical staples are used to perform a rectal resection.
Many clients have advised Irwin Mitchell that they have suffered complications following surgery, while others say that the procedure actually carried out were not what they were expecting, or was undertaken without their knowledge or consent.
North Bristol NHS Trust has investigated 143 cases. It was found that although operations on 57 people were carried out “satisfactorily” they “should have been offered alternative treatments before proceeding to surgery.”
Another 73 patients included in the review have today been told by the Trust that their surgery was “appropriate”.
The Trust is continuing to investigate a further 13 cases.
Irwin Mitchell’s Group Actions team has already agreed terms with North Bristol NHS Trust for a special scheme which will review its medical treatment to determine if it was negligent, and if they should receive compensation as a result.
The protocol will process the group of cases more efficiently than standard litigation. Patients have until 29 June 2019 to register with Irwin Mitchell to ascertain if their cases satisfy the qualifying criteria.
Expert Opinion“From speaking to clients, and through our initial investigations, the use of mesh in this type of surgery potentially has long term adverse consequences and so it is imperative that issues are fully investigated and a clear process established so patient safety is at the forefront at all times.
“It is also vital that those who think that they might have been affected by this issue contact us promptly so that their concerns can be fully investigated before the cases become time barred.” Sallie Booth - Partner
In July last year NHS Resolution took the decision to review bowel surgery operations carried out by Dr Tony Dixon at Southmead and Spire hospitals in Bristol.
Spire Hospital, a private hospital in Bristol where Mr Dixon also worked, has also recalled 300 patients for review.
Mr Dixon has had sanctions imposed on him by the General Medical Council. These include him not being allowed to carry out STARR procedures. The sanctions are due to remain in place until 14 November 2019.