Sunday, October 9, 2011

British Doc botches 95 surgeries, keeps working in socialized system

The hospital trust where Manjit Bhamra worked has already paid out £1 million to 10 patients whose surgery went badly wrong.
Now it is facing a further 85 complaints – in what could become one of Britain's biggest clinical negligence claims against a single surgeon.
Mr Bhamra has twice been referred to the General Medical Council but is now working at a different hospital which said it had "no concerns" about him.
The orthopaedic surgeon, 55, is accused of leaving hip patients in such pain that they were housebound and unable to work, with one man forced to sleep in a chair at night because he was unable to lie down.
Payments of between £1,750 to £500,000 have already been made in ten cases treated by Mr Bhamra at Rotherham Hospital, South Yorkshire – though liability was not accepted in all cases.
A patient in her 50s was left with one leg longer than the other, and in such pain that the entire hip joint had to be removed for almost three months before it was corrected, while one 23 year-old given the wrong hip implant was left disabled for life.
Negligence lawyers now considering the new complaints, most of them about his last two years at the hospital, which he left in 2007, said they were astonished at the number of patients who had contacted them.
The surgeon, 55, is now working at Pinderfields General Hospital, in Wakefield, and also works for the private Care UK group in Southampton and London.
Last week a series of patients told how procedures had gone wrong.
Wayne Pickering, 59, from Doncaster had his pelvis fractured during hip surgery in February 2006.
The hospital has admitted negligence and paid compensation for the botched operation, which left the former semi-professional footballer in so much pain he was forced to give up his job.
Mr Pickering, a father of three, had already undergone several hip operations, following years spent playing football for Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton Wanderers and in South Africa.
The revision surgery was to replace a "cup" which would hold the joint.
Mr Pickering said that when he came round from the procedure, Mr Bhamra told him: "'I've nicked your artery, damaged the nerve and broken your pelvis' – not the words you want to hear."
Despite the need for further surgery, he was discharged after two weeks. It was not until last year that the corrective surgery took place.
Permanent damage to his sciatic nerve has left Mr Pickering, of Doncaster, in constant pain, and unable to walk or stand without crutches, while medication to cope with the pain brings short-term memory loss.
He was forced to give up his job as an engineering sales representative, because he cannot drive more than a few miles, and needs help from his wife Penny, to wash and dress.
Mr Pickering said: " I used to be very fit, I used to run and play golf and now I can't even get out of my chair without someone helping me. You have to be strong to cope with the pain but it does wear you down. There are days when I get quite angry."
Winifred Mitchell, 91, from Rotherham, said her life had been 'ruined' after she was left housebound and needed a calliper after a hip replacement operation four years ago.
David Swailes, 67, was left without a hip for three years and still has to sleep in a chair at night because he is unable to lay down due to extreme pain.
Mr Swailes, from Clifton, Rotherham, underwent surgery in 2006 but the replacement hip became loose and became septic so it was taken out. It took three years to be replaced by another consultant, leaving the pensioner with significant scarring and damage.
He said: 'We heard he was a new kid on the block but when he had finished with me I needed a built-up shoe because one leg was three inches shorter.
'When I went back to the hospital another consultant said that it had not been done right. I had to have special injections and I haven't slept in a bed for five years. I have to sleep in a chair because I can't stand the pain if I am lying down.'
Around the same period as the botched and allegedly botched surgery in 2006, the hospital's operating theatres were filmed as part of a BBC documentary series in which businessman Gerry Robinson spent six months investigating the working of the NHS, and found serious tensions between doctors and managers.
Mr Bhamra, who was educated at Sheffield University, was scathing about the credentials of those attempting to manage the service, saying: "They've probably got three O-levels and they are managing people who have five or six degrees."
Tim Annett, from lawyers Irwin Mitchell said: "We expected a few inquiries after the previous settlements but we were surprised to say the least so many people came forward with concerns about surgery carried out by Mr Bhamra. We are in the process of looking at the details those people have provided us to see whether or not they will be pursued and investigated."
Mr Annett said the firm had contacted the GMC about its concerns but had not received a response. The GMC refused to disclose if he was the subject of any disciplinary action after it was twice asked to investigate the surgeon.
A spokesman for Rotherham Hospital said the trust had "a robust procedure in place in which to fully investigate any complaints that are received".
"If any patient has a concern following treatment we would advise them to contact their GP in the first instance for clinical advice as they are best placed to make sure they have access to the appropriate treatment and care," the spokesman said.
Tim Hendra, Medical Director at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfield hospital said that delivering safe high quality care was the hospital's top priority, and that all medical staff were subject to a robust recruitment process and routine monitoring.
He said: "As with any health care professional working at our Trust, we would take appropriate action if any concerns were raised."
The Medical Defence Union, which represents Mr Bhamra, said it was unable to comment due to patient confidentiality.

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