Orthopaedic report ‘seriously flawed’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 May 2011

Views of Weston General Hospital, Grange Rd, Uphill.; 13-4-05

Views of Weston General Hospital, Grange Rd, Uphill.; 13-4-05


A DAMNING survey of patients who received hip and knee surgery operations at Weston General Hospital 
contained ‘serious flaws’, a new report has concluded.

Four years ago, the British Orthopaedic Association claimed a third of the surgery patients from 2003 to 2006 complained about their care at the hospital.

The survey of more than 200 people was carried out at a now-shut specialist treatment programme at the hospital which used doctors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The report resulted in the hospital ending the service and halting the employment of Scandinavian doctors.

But, this week, a new report by Professor Toft for the South West Strategic Health Authority has questioned the association’s findings.

The review, called for by the health authority, claims there were flaws in the initial assessments of surgery.

In the report, Prof Toft said: “The British Orthopaedic Association report contains a significant number of inadvertent serious factual errors and omissions and therefore appears to be seriously flawed.”

In response, a spokesman from Weston Area Health Trust said the organisation remained satisfied it had acted in the best interests of patients.

He said: “Professor Toft concludes that the original British Orthopaedic Association review of the work in 2007 contained serious flaws, overstated the number of required revisions to surgery, and says that its findings are no longer tenable. He says there is no evidence to suggest the competence of the visiting surgeons was anything less than acceptable.

“We will continue to work with NHS colleagues to ensure that, where appropriate, relevant learning from this report is applied to the ongoing delivery of our orthopaedic services.”

Medical director at the South West Strategic Health Authority, Dr Mike Durkin, said: “We have received the report and note its recommendations.

“Many of these relate to retrospective issues and arrangements which have ceased to exist or changed considerably since the report was commissioned four years ago.

“Weston NHS Treatment Centre no longer exists, but the vast majority of patients treated there reported a positive experience.”

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