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NHS Knee Operation Patients May be Able to Claim Compensation, says Solicitor


Manchester, UK – January 5, 2007

The National Health Service (NHS) has confirmed that hundreds of patients who received knee replacements at an NHS independent treatment centre are being recalled because of concerns over the rate of complications following their operations.

Specialist clinical and medical negligence solicitors Pannone LLP are dealing with a number of compensation claims for patients in similar situations. Senior clinical negligence solicitor, John Kitchingman said, “These cases underline concerns about the care offered by some independent treatment centres and in particular the practice of bringing in surgeons from abroad to try to reduce waiting lists. Patients should not have to worry that the care that they are offered at these treatment centres will be carried out to a lower standard than that which would be provided at their nearest specialist NHS Hospital.

“Surgeons from different countries will be familiar with particular prostheses used in their own country and may be asked to perform operations using different prostheses which are commonly used in the UK but with which these surgeons are not familiar. Inevitably this increases the risk of complications following the procedures.

“There are also concerns about the continuity of care offered by these treatment centres. The surgeons at independent treatment centres are often not involved in the care offered prior to surgery and when things go wrong patients are often returned to surgeons at their local NHS hospital for treatment. The surgeon performing the operation may not have access to all of a patient’s previous medical notes and x-rays and the surgeon providing post operative care if there are complications will not be as familiar with the patient’s condition if the operation has been performed at another hospital.

“Patients have often been in severe pain for a long period prior to the operation and to suffer complications which may have been avoidable makes an already difficult situation worse. Where errors are identified patients should be informed and should be given speedy assessments and treatment where necessary.

“We are already pursuing a number of compensation claims on behalf of patients injured as a result of poorly conducted knee replacement operations and other surgery involving independent treatment centres. Many patients will require further operations to correct the surgical errors at these treatment centres.”

John Kitchingman and the clinical negligence solicitors at Pannone LLP can be reached by calling 0870 164 2372


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