29 November, 2021
NHS England recently published on November 24, the independent review into the urology department at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust which runs the Royal Barrow-in-Furness Infirmary, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness.
As many as 520 patients were harmed by doctors within a "dysfunctional team" at the Morecambe Bay hospital trust over a period of 20 years. Amongst those affected by the failings included one individual who had to have one of his testicles removed after undergoing a routine procedure, a woman who died after doctors failed to recognise she was dying and another individual who died following a delay in taking him to theatre. These are just a few cases of medical negligence .
The independent probe highlighted key failings in dealing with concerns and complaints in the department. Many of the issues were sparked by "concerns over competency and partly from personality clashes" within the urology team. Management within urology was weak, records were inaccurate or incomplete, investigations were not carried out when potential harm was identified, and the clinical leadership was "impotent".
The report also reveals that issues within urology were missed because the trust "was heavily distracted by the process of the maternity investigation and, thereafter, by the need to respond to external criticism following the Kirkup Report". The Kirkup Report, published in, 2015, found a "lethal mix" of serious and shocking failings led to the deaths of 11 babies and one mother at Furness General Hospital.
The review made a total of 72 recommendations for the trust to implement in order to improve the urology department. The report reveals the investigation was focused on "one index case" which refers to the death of Peter Reid.
Mr Reid suffered a catastrophic and fatal stroke after he was failed to be taken into theatre despite showing signs of sepsis. A coroner later said their failings in not changing a kidney stent contributed to his death at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in January 2015.
Aaron Cummins, chief executive of UHMBT, said in a statement: "On behalf of the trust, I would like to apologise to patients and families who have experienced any kind of harm or distress caused by the events chronicled in the report.
"Some progress has already been made over the last couple of years and the trust will continue to ensure improvements are made as quickly as possible and are sustained."
The findings come after a report by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) made a number of urgent recommendations to the trust's trauma and orthopaedics department.
Mr Cummins said the trust had already implemented many of the RCS's recommendations.
If you have suffered from a delay in diagnosis or treatment and went to University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust then you may have a claim as it could be due to NHS negligence.
For more information contact Leonie Millard in our Clinical Negligence department via email or phone on 01254 770517. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.
Learn more about our Clinical Negligence department here