Patients in 'botched' ops scandal.Byline: By Greg Tindle South Wales Echo The South Wales Echo is a daily newspaper distributed in south Wales. It was founded in 1884 and is based in Thomson House, Cardiff city centre. It is published daily, in a tabloid form, by Media Wales Ltd (formerly Western Mail & Echo Ltd), part of the Trinity Mirror group.
Hundreds of patients are being called back into hospital after fears that operations carried out by foreign surgeons could have been botched botch
tr.v. botched, botch·ing, botch·es
1. To ruin through clumsiness.
2. To make or perform clumsily; bungle.
3. To repair or mend clumsily.
Up to 700 patients, mainly from the Cardiff area, will receive check-ups after some reported complications following their knee and hip surgery. This includes reports that some replacement joints were not fitted correctly.
The operations were carried out at the Weston Treatment Centre in Somerset in the past two years.
Reports that some were suffering from pain and swelling and discomfort soon after their surgery have been emerging.
Experts have been called in to carry out an investigation and confirmed there was an unacceptably high level of problems.
Hospital managers in Cardiff have contacted all patients who were treated at Weston by Swedish surgeons and have invited them for a check-up which will include an X-ray on their joints. Check-up offer to all patients who had ops: Nearly 700 patients were today at the centre of a massive waiting list scandal amid fears that their operations could have been bungled bun·gle
v. bun·gled, bun·gling, bun·gles
To work or act ineptly or inefficiently.
To handle badly; botch. See Synonyms at botch.
n. by foreign surgeons.
And it is feared that the situation could cost millions of pounds to put right. The mainly elderly patients from Cardiff and surrounding areas, had opted to receive treatment in England to avoid a longer wait for surgery in South Wales South Wales south n → sud m du Pays de Galles .
Their operations were largely hip and knee replacements and all have now been told the surgery needs to be checked after some reported complications including joint pain and swellings. A total of 20 patients have so far reported problems.
The patients were all treated by Swedish surgeons being used at the Weston NHS NHS
National Health Service
NHS (in Britain) National Health Service Treatment Centre in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
The centre was used as part of the Welsh Assembly Welsh Assembly n → Parlement gallois Government's Second Offer scheme aimed at bringing down orthopaedic waiting lists. The contract with Weston has now been stopped. All who received treatment are now being contacted by the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust is an NHS Trust in Wales. The headquarters of the Trust is in the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff. It is the largest NHS Trust in Wales, and one of the largest in the UK. It has around 12,000 staff. and invited for a detailed check-up at a cost of pounds 100 a time.
The first indications that there was a problem with patients started 12 months after the Weston Centre The Weston Centre can describe one of two buildings located in North America.
The Weston Centre of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is an eighteen story building. It was built in 1976 and is within walking distance to the St. Clair (TTC) subway station. started to accept patients.
A drip feed of complaints started but it was only when Cardiff surgeons compared notes that the alarm bells started to ring and Weston was identified as the common denominator. One of the problems identified was that knee replacement joints had been wrongly fitted.
At the end of 2004, top Cardiff surgeon David Shewring caused controversy by writing a letter warning patients not to be treated by the foreign doctors.
He sent letters to his patients claiming doctors from abroad working in England may not be skilled enough to carry out operations.
The result caused mayhem and the majority, some already waiting for more than a year for surgery, cancelled their appointments for early treatment. Independent experts from the British Orthopaedic Association were called in and they confirmed the Cardiff surgeons' worries.
Although hip and knee replacements are the main category, other patients who received shoulder or wrist operations are also being invited to have their surgery checked.
Apart from the cost of carrying out the new surgery, the Echo understands that legal action against the Weston Centre is a likelihood.
Ian Lane, medical director at Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust said: 'At the request of the Welsh Assembly Government's Second Offer Team, our Trust is offering a check-up to all patients who received orthopaedic treatment at Weston.
'This follows an independent review of knee surgery at Weston by the British Orthopaedic Association, which found a higher number of complications with total knee replacements than would normally be expected. Our priority is to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of the patients involved.
'Our orthopaedic surgeons are ready to help patients who have any concerns about knee surgery or other operations received at Weston. They will be able to discuss and review the progress of patients' treatment and will offer follow-up checks and further treatment if needed.
'Our surgeons have seen some patients who experienced complications after their knee surgery at Weston. Our surgeons raised concerns about these complications to the Second Offer Commissioning Team. It is these concerns that led to the independent review of knee surgery last year. Our Trust will continue to work with Local Health Boards and other health organisations to ensure the well-being of our patients following this review.'
Christine Miles, director of NHS Wales Delivery and Support Unit, which has managed the Second Offer Scheme since October 2005, said it was important that patients who had received treatment in Weston had an opportunity to discuss their surgery and any concerns they may have with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital from which they were referred.
'I appreciate the concern that many patients may feel at receiving this information, but I would like to stress that this is a precautionary measure. Arrangements are in place for outpatient appointments if appropriate within the coming weeks, so that those who do require further treatment can be assessed and helped as soon as possible.
'In the meantime, we must remember that the Second Offer Scheme has enabled a total of 23,000 procedures to be carried out on Welsh patients sooner than would otherwise have been possible and that the initiative has been successful in reducing waiting times. In addition, the potential problems at Weston were identified through the comprehensive reporting system that has been in place for the Second Offer Scheme since it was introduced by the Welsh Assembly Government The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) (Welsh: Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru, LlCC) was firstly an executive body of the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of the First Minister and his Cabinet from 1999 to 2007. in April 2004.' 'I WAS TREATED WELL AND HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS': One of the patients who underwent surgery at Weston General Hospital Weston General Hospital is an NHS district general hospital in the town of Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, England operated by Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT). It has an Accident & Emergency department, an intensive care unit, an Oncology and Haematology day unit, and a day spoke of his surprise at hearing the news.
Chris Bailey, 63 today, of Muirton Road, Tremorfa, Cardiff, ignored a warning that doctors may not have the relevant skills to carry out procedures.
He was among 73 patients who received a letter from Cardiff surgeon David Shewring who had raised concerns about what was happening.
However, Mr Bailey chose to accept the offer of surgery at WGH WGH Western General Hospital (Edinburgh, UK)
WGH Warren General Hospital (Warren, PA)
WGH Warren G. Harding High School (Warren, OH) to cure a condition called dupritons disease in his right hand, which causes the hand to close in on itself.
'I had been suffering with the condition for years and it was getting gradually worse,' said Mr Bailey, a former assistant manager for a kitchen and joinery joinery, craft of assembling exposed woodwork in the interiors of buildings. Where carpentry refers to the rougher, simpler, and primarily structural elements of wood assembling, joinery has to do with difficult surfaces and curvatures, such as those of spiral company.
'I was on Dr Shewring's waiting list for about a year.
'When I was told I could get an operation at Weston I immediately agreed.
'I remember the surgeon saying to me - he was Scandinavian - 'despite what you may have heard, we are qualified to do what we want to do'.
'I was treated very, very well and I can honestly say I've had no problems since, only to expect a slight stiffening, which I have.'
About a month after the operation Mr Bailey was treated for a fractured bone in his left hand after a fall and was treated at the University Hospital of Wales University Hospital of Wales (referred to locally as "the Heath" or UHW), opened in 1971, is situated on the outskirts of central Cardiff, Wales.
It is also the third largest University Hospital in the United Kingdom providing 24 hour Accident & Emergency and various , Cardiff.
By a quirk of coincidence, he then met Dr Shewring.
'He had a look at my right hand after another doctor called him after finding out it was treated at Weston,' said Mr Bailey.
'Dr Shewring asked me if I was aware there had been an infection in the hand, which I was not.
'He then told me he could sort out my left hand, because that needed attention too - and he did.
'There was a big furore about Dr Shewring's letter at the time, but I suppose if people are now receiving letters about their treatment at Weston, he's been proved right.
'I have to say I am surprised at the news though.' Swedish visitors: The Weston Treatment Centre used visiting teams of Swedish surgeons through an agency which deals with Scandinavian medical staff.
The surgeons were all qualified and experienced and would spend between four to six weeks at the hospital performing orthopaedic operations.
Cardiff surgeons complained about their work, claiming that after surgery patients had continued pain and stiffness with many still on crutches six months later.
The Cardiff surgeons also claimed there was no communication between Weston and Cardiff and there were problems obtaining X-rays after surgery.