Routine Eye operations botched by private provider, helpline set up

14 August 2014

Routine Eye operations botched by private provider, helpline set up

A specialist helpline has been set up to deal with routine eye operations carried out by a private firm for a Taunton hospital that have led to complications for half of the patients treated.

A private healthcare firm-Vanguard Healthcare-undertook routine cataract operations at an NHS hospital, leading to dozens of those operated losing their vision as a result and suffering a range of complications.

A specialist eye surgery medical negligence helpline has been set up by Mistreatment.com to provide specialist advice to those affected. If you or a loved one has been impacted by the operations at Musgrove Park Hospital you can contact Mistreatment.com here or visit the specialist eye surgery medical negligence page for further information to assess what your patient rights are.

Have you been affected? If so, we may be able to help

A specialist eye surgery medical negligence helpline has been set up by Mistreatment.com to provide specialist advice to those affected. If you or a loved one has been impacted by the operations at Musgrove Park Hospital you can contact Mistreatment.com here or visit the specialist eye surgery medical negligence page for further information to assess what your patient rights are.

The operations were conducted at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset and the NHS now faces a string of medical negligence compensation claims after half of the 60 patients operated on suffered complications.

In May the backlog at the hospital was so high that a private provider helped carry out the routine operations to deal with patient demand. However, after only four days into the programme the Hospital terminated the surgery contract with Vanguard Healthcare after 30 patients-most of them elderly and often quite frail-immediately reported a number of complications ranging from blurred vision, pain and swelling to even blindness in one case where a man, aged 84, claims he lost his sight and whose family is calling for a full independent inquiry.

As investigation begins, specialist helpline is set up to deal with patient enquiries

The trust itself has started its own investigation and will not go into any further details about the medical mistreatment, the medical negligence compensation claims, the amount any compensation bill might come to or even the nature of its contract with Vanguard and why exactly it terminated it.

Mistreatment.com has a specialist eye surgery negligence team which can provide FREE initial advice about options to anybody affected about how to raise a complaint and to make an eye surgery medical negligence compensation claim.

The medical director of the hospital, Colin Close, has admitted it now faces a number of medical negligence compensation claims relating to eye surgery negligence and that "Any financial responsibility would rest with us".

Musgrove Hospital approached the private healthcare provider Vanguard earlier this year to help clear a backlog of cataract surgery procedures. The surgeons from Vanguard started working from a mobile unit from May onwards but stopped after patients quickly complained of problems.

A Musgrove Park spokeswoman said: "Due to the ongoing nature of our investigations it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the sequence of events surrounding the unfortunate complications experienced by our patients receiving cataract surgery with Vanguard Healthcare in their mobile theatre onsite at Musgrove Park hospital.

Specialist teams are able to assist patients affected now

"Our first and foremost concern has always been our patients, and particularly those who have experienced complications. We have been in very close contact with them since the incident to ensure they are fully informed with our progress and receive the highest quality aftercare and treatment. We will want to discuss the outcomes of our investigations with them first, once they have reached conclusion."

Ian Gillespie, chief executive of Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, said: "Patient care is our number one priority and we're working closely with the trust to understand and fully investigate the root causes of any complications.

"Patient care is our number one priority"

"This investigation is still ongoing, making it inappropriate to comment on specific issues or on individual patient cases. Operations were carried out in Vanguard's operating theatre by highly qualified surgeons, approved by the hospital, and with many years' experience of working in the NHS."

A specialist eye surgery medical negligence helpline has been set up by Mistreatment.com to provide specialist advice to those affected. If you or a loved one has been impacted by the operations at Musgrove Park Hospital you can contact Mistreatment.com here or visit the specialist eye surgery medical negligence page for further information to assess what your patient rights are.