Medical Negligence Claims Concerning Mr Michael Walsh

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Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

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It was reported by The Guardian in February 2020 that almost 200 patients at Spire Healthcare and Nuffield in Leeds had been recalled due to concerns about whether shoulder surgeon, Mr Michael Walsh, provided acceptable or even necessary surgery.

These concerns arose following issues with another surgeon who was working at the Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull. The surgeon, Mr Habib Rahman, came under review in similar circumstances following shoulder surgeries performed on patients at Spire Parkway in West Midlands.

man holding woman's shoulders

Following reports regarding the treatment provided and surgeries performed, Mr Michael Walsh was suspended and subsequently dismissed by Spire Healthcare. Mr Walsh recently appeared at a hearing in respect of his misconduct before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service where he represented himself and submitted a request to be voluntarily removed from the medical register, which was accepted by the Tribunal. This is the latest incident in what seems to be an ongoing trend of unnecessary medical procedures which have been hitting the news headlines.

As a result of the above, our team of Medical Negligence Solicitors are currently dealing with enquiries relating to treatment provided and surgeries performed, by Mr Michael Walsh. Our team are able to offer a free consultation to patients to assess whether they may have prospects of a successful medical negligence claim arising from the treatment provided under the care of  Mr Michael Walsh.

If you have had a surgical procedure performed by Mr Michael Walsh, have concerns about the treatment provided to you and think that you may have a claim for compensation, you can contact our Medical Negligence solicitors who will assess the likely prospects of success in your claim.

If you have already been contacted as part of the recall at Spire Healthcare and Nuffield in Leeds, please contact our Medical Negligence team of solicitors for free confidential legal advice. We are here to help you navigate the process of making a claim for clinical negligence. We may be able to deal with your case by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement (more commonly known as a No Win, No Fee) so please ask us about this.

If you have suffered because of negligent treatment during surgery, we can help. Get in touch with our Medical Negligence team on 0808 239 6043 or

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

Our team of Medical Negligence solicitors will be more than happy to assess your situation and the likely prospects of success if you were to bring a medical negligence claim. Our team will do this based on the information you provide to them and any documents you have retained regarding your treatment. This could be documents you may have such as medical records, a complaint response or minutes of meetings that you have had with the relevant healthcare provider.

It may be that our team suggests a complaint be made in the first instance. We can help you to make the complaint to the healthcare provider and, if appropriate,  subsequently assist with your medical negligence claim for compensation. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are highly experienced and have secured compensation settlements for our clients ranging from £8,000 to £12,000,000.

Unfortunately the cases of Mr Michael Walsh and Mr Habib Rahman are not uncommon. Ian Paterson, a surgeon who also worked at the Spire Parkway in Solihull, was imprisoned for 15 years back in 2017. This sentence was later increased to 20 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of wounding with intent whilst performing breast surgery on his patient.

The Duty of Candour regulations place a legal obligation on medical organisations to be open and honest. This means that if a Trust has any concerns about your medical treatment, you should be notified of this at the earliest opportunity. Should you have any concerns about your own treatment, or if concerns about your treatment have been raised with you,  we urge you to contact a Medical Negligence Solicitor for legal advice and assistance.

stethoscope on a white background

What Should Your Doctor Do Before You Have Surgery?

Before agreeing to surgery, you should ask your doctor to explain what tests you are having and why. You have a right to know and understand any diagnosis that has been made, the purpose of any testing which has been recommended and the treatment options available to you. If you’ve been referred for tests and don’t understand the meaning of the results, then ask. You are entitled to leave your medical appointments with a full understanding about your health.

The Doctor should talk through all available treatment options with you and what treatment you proceed with, is your choice. Your doctor should discuss with you any material risks associated with the recommended treatment, and the benefits / risks of alternative treatment options.

A ‘material risk’ is a risk which a reasonable person in that particular patient’s position would be likely to consider significant. For example, the risks of surgery to the throat are more material to someone with a career as an Opera Singer.  You should be involved in the decision making process regarding your treatment and ultimately, any treatment administered is completely your choice.

You will sign a consent form prior to surgery, and the risks discussed with you should be noted on this form. You should also get a copy of the consent form, for your own records. Once you have had your treatment, you should be reviewed by your treating practitioner again to discuss the treatment that you’ve had, assess the progress that has been made and answer any questions you may have about your recovery. Again, don’t hold back from asking the questions that are at the forefront of your mind. You have a right to know what impact the treatment has had and whether any further treatment is required or recommended. Your treating practitioner should outline both the benefits and risks of the proposed course of action.

a surgeon with medical tools

When Will a Hospital Get in Touch With Concerns?

On occasion, you may receive a letter from the hospital to confirm that your treatment is being investigated without a complaint being made by yourself. For example, you may receive a letter from the hospital to say that treatment provided to you will be considered as part of an internal review.

This may occur if concerns have been raised by other patients or if areas of concern have been raised by clinicians at the hospital.

You should be informed of the outcome of the investigation and whether this has any impact on the care or treatment that you received. If you are uncertain or feel that you may have a medical negligence claim, please contact our Medical Negligence team of solicitors who will be able to assess your case and let you know both the likely prospects of success and any action which can be taken immediately. In addition to this, our team can help you understand what has happened and what this means for you in the event that the letter you have received from the Trust or information regarding the investigation is unclear or confusing.

Making a Complaint Yourself

You can submit your own complaint if you’re unhappy about any of your medical treatment.

Most hospitals have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). You should make your complaint within 12 months of the treatment which caused you concern, or within 12 months of becoming aware that the treatment you received was negligent, either verbally or in writing.

You may be invited to a meeting to discuss your complaint. If you choose to attend a meeting, you may find it helpful to take a friend or relative to support you. You may also want to ensure that notes of the meeting will be taken, and you can ask for the meeting to be recorded, as long as all parties consent.

Your complaint will be investigated, and you will be advised of the outcome. You should be provided a copy of the findings of the investigation too. It may be that you are notified of steps which are being taken to change the hospital policy or procedure to prevent the same incident(s) occurring again. You may also receive a letter of apology.

A complaint may help you to understand what’s happened regarding your treatment and why the outcome isn’t as you would’ve hoped. If you’re still unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, you should be given information about making a complaint to the ombudsman or be encouraged to seek advice from a Solicitor.

If you’ve been negatively affected by your medical treatment or, our friendly Medical Negligence team can be contacted on 0808 239 0804 and will be happy to help. We look forward to speaking with you.

References:

The Guardian. (2020, February 16). Surgeon 'carried out unnecessary operations' at private hospital. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/16/michael-walsh-private-hospital-spire-ian-paterson

Medscape UK. (2023, November 27). Orthopaedic Consultant Struck Over Unnecessary Surgery. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.co.uk/viewarticle/orthopaedic-consultant-struck-over-unnecessary-surgery-2023a1000tgj

The BMJ. (2020). Scandal-hit hospital recalls patients over concerns about second doctor. Retrieved from https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m687

The Guardian. (2020, January 24). Scandal-hit hospital recalls patients over concerns about second doctor. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/24/scandal-hit-hospital-recalls-patients-over-concerns-about-second-doctor-spire-parkway

Simpson Millar. (n.d.). Medical Negligence Solicitors. Retrieved from https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/medical-negligence-solicitors/

Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Georgina is a Solicitor who works in our Medical Negligence team here at Simpson Millar, based in our Manchester office.

She is a committed and highly reliable Solicitor with a track record of supporting clients through the process of making a claim to achieve the best outcome for them. Georgina has experience working on many high-value cases with a range of circumstances and complexities from start to finish, where she reviews medical records, liaises with experts and gathers evidence in order to negotiate the best possible settlement for her clients.

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