The clinical negligence team at Thompsons Solicitors, which has offices in Stoke and Birmingham, is calling on management at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) to make public the name of a suspended surgeon to allay fears amongst all patients that they may have received negligent treatment.

The UHNS announced last week that it had suspended a male surgeon in February 2013 after a number of his colleagues came forwards with concerns about his professional practice.

The allegations against the surgeon include using unproven oral and maxillofacial techniques to treat patients with facial or skull fractures and failing to consider less invasive, non-surgical treatment plans.

Patients being left in the dark

Despite announcing that upwards of 88 patients may have been affected and “experienced harm as a result of unnecessary surgery”, the UHNS has failed to name the doctor involved, leaving patients across Staffordshire in the dark as to whether surgery they had was unnecessary.

Clinical negligence specialist Linda Millband said: “Responding swiftly to concerns raised by colleagues with a suspension and an internal review is admirable, but to then leave patients wondering if the consultant in question treated them and waiting for a phone call to say yes or no when they could simply name the doctor is baffling and unsettling.”

The hospital has confirmed that the surgeon in question has not practiced at the site since the 1 February 2013 and that an investigation is ongoing. It stated that it was contacting the 88 patients known to have been affected with the offer to meet with a senior consultant to review their past treatment.

“We urge the UHNS to be open– transparency over the terms of the review and the name of the suspended surgeon – can begin to repair trust and empower patients in the local area to come forward and seek appropriate medical and legal advice,” continued Linda.

“Knowing where you stand legally, even if you decide not to pursue a claim, can be hugely important psychologically and we are here to support anyone who is concerned about the treatment they received while at UHNS.”

Thompsons Solicitors has set up a free helpline on 0115 9897256 for those concerned they’ve been affected and is also urging people to contact the local hospital for appropriate medical advice.

It is also holding an open day on the 29 April at 10am at its Stoke office for patients who are concerned they’ve been affected.

Open day address:

Thompsons Solicitors
Bethesda Chambers
Lower Bethesda Street