Deaths see spinal ops post­poned

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY LUKE TRAYNOR luke.traynor@trin­i­tymir­ @@LukeTraynorE­cho

AHOSPITAL trust has sus­pended all sched­uled spinal op­er­a­tions fol­low­ing the deaths of two pa­tients. War­ring­ton And Hal­ton Hos­pi­tals NHS Trust has also called in the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons to carry out a re­view of its spinal ser­vices fol­low­ing ‘four se­ri­ous in­ci­dents’ over a six month pe­riod.

Up to 240 pa­tients await­ing treat­ment are cur­rently af­fected by the de­ci­sion and hospi­tal bosses say they will be con­tacted to be ad­vised of the op­tions avail­able to them.

Many of those on the wait­ing list will be of­fered surgery else­where, but a large back­log is ex­pected with War­ring­ton car­ry­ing out 1,500 spinal pro­ce­dures ev­ery year.

Of those pro­ce­dures can­celled, 160 are op­er­a­tions and 80 spinal in­jec­tions.

The trust’s med­i­cal direc­tor and deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Pro­fes­sor Si­mon Con­sta­ble said: “We have made the de­ci­sion to tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend our spinal surgery at War­ring­ton and Hal­ton Hos­pi­tals fol­low­ing the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of four se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in­volv­ing spinal surgery pa­tients over a six month pe­riod.

“Sadly, two of these in­ci­dents were pa­tient deaths. Early in­di­ca­tions sug­gest these were re­lated to med­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions and not the surgery it­self, but these cases are now sub­ject to the ex­ter­nal re­view.

“Al­though these in­ci­dents ap­pear very dif­fer­ent, as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure, the Trust, work­ing with our com­mis­sion­ers and reg­u­la­tors, has tem­po­rar­ily stopped do­ing spinal pro­ce­dures, un­til a full ex­ter­nal re­view has been un­der­taken.

“The trust and com­mis­sion­ers have in­vited The Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons to un­der­take a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of our cur­rent spinal ser­vices at the be­gin­ning of ● Novem­ber; this will help in­form any ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions or de­ci­sions re­gard­ing the fu­ture ser­vice pro­vi­sion.

“We un­der­stand that this may cause con­cern for pa­tients on our wait­ing list or be­ing re­ferred in to our ser­vices and we sin­cerely apol­o­gise for this.

“Pa­tient safety and wel­fare is our pri­or­ity and we are in the process of con­tact­ing all pa­tients await­ing spinal surgery at War­ring­ton And Hal­ton Hos­pi­tals to ad­vise them of the op­tions avail­able to them.

“We will do our best to sup­port pa­tients at this time.”

Hal­ton Gen­eral Hospi­tal on Hospi­tal Way in Run­corn

War­ring­ton Hospi­tal

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