Spire Leeds Must do More to Contact Shoulder Surgeon Patients

Medical Negligence Lawyers instructed to investigate the care received by a number of former Spire Leeds patients have today said the private healthcare provider ‘must do more’ to contact those potentially impacted by an active investigation into the actions of shoulder surgeon Michael Walsh.

The plea comes amidst concerns that many potential victims of unnecessary or inappropriate shoulder procedures at the hospital were not having their treatment systematically reviewed and now risk being missed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Walsh, a shoulder surgeon, is understood to have been sacked by Spire Healthcare after the company reported him to the General Medical Council (GMC).

The move came after patients and colleagues raised concerns about the work that he was undertaking, which promoted an investigation of around 200 cases, and which found around 50 examples of patients that may have been harmed by unnecessary or badly performed surgeries.

Law firm Simpson Millar has now been contacted to investigate potential claims on behalf of several former patients of Walsh, all of whom display similar symptoms. It has now called on Spire to do more to contact people who may have received inadequate care.

Jodie Cook, a Medical Negligence Lawyer in the firm’s Leeds office said, “We’ve been contacted by several people now who have been made aware of the concerns regarding Michael Walsh, and the symptoms described by those individuals are strikingly similar. It’s very worrying.

“With evidence to suggest that the number of people affected by unnecessary or badly performed surgeries is pretty significant, we’re calling on Spire Leeds to contact patients and to extend its investigation accordingly.

“Certainly in the cases we are now handling the symptoms are very debilitating, and the restriction to movement and pain experienced is having a big impact on our clients lives – both personally, and professionally.

“How many other potential victims of medical negligence are there who are not even aware that this investigation into Mr Walsh is taking place, and that they could receive some help and support to alleviate their condition?”

Simpson Millar is also representing clients who have been recalled for a review of their treatment whilst in the care of once trusted Orthopaedic Surgeons including Habib Rahman who operated at the Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull.

Although both surgeons have now ceased to work for the private healthcare firm – with Habib suspended in May 2019, and Walsh understood to have retired – Simpson Millar says Spire’s ‘piecemeal approach’ with localised investigations into specific surgeons, as opposed to a review of the broader issue, is not providing the answers, or the reassurance needed for those affected.

Jodie Cook from Simpson Millar added, “This isn’t a situation affecting one or two patients, there are hundreds of potential victims across multiple sites.

“Patients who have been referred by the NHS for specialist treatment are now left wondering if they too have been affected as a result of surgery that was conducted unnecessarily, or very badly, which has had a devastating impact on their lives. That in itself is deeply concerning.

“More worryingly, however, is the fact that Spire and other healthcare providers are seemingly dealing with the matter in a piecemeal manner which means no one is holding the group – or the private healthcare industry as a whole – accountable. How many other victims are there that simply don’t know that they have been affected?

“It is time for an urgent, independent and, dare we say it, joined up review to take place to uncover the full extent of any negligence from those who have already been identified, and any others.

“Any patients affected are urged to contact Spire to discuss their concerns, and to get independent legal advice as to whether any potential negligence could lead to a civil claim for loss of earnings, or unnecessary pain or suffering.”

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