Deaths see spinal ops postponed
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