Allegations of Negligent Treatment at Royal Sussex County Hospital

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05 January, 2024

Leonie Millard

A recent Police investigation into Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, 'Operation Bramber,' has found that approximately 100 patients have faced negligent treatment between 2015 - 2021, with at least 40 patients having died as a result of the Hospital's negligent treatment.

The Police investigation was launched in June 2023 after two whistle blowers raised concerns that dangerous surgical practices were being carried out on patients. The investigation will cover both neurosurgery and general surgery operations.

Patient's families and campaigners have urged the Hospital to suspend surgeons whose practices are being examined by the Police. The Hospital has chosen to ignore these concerns, stating it has confidence in the surgeons involved.

Some families have been informed that family liaison officers will be appointed to support them throughout the investigation, to include Audrey Sharma, whose husband was left disabled after he was incorrectly diagnosed as having a stage 4 tumour. Consequently, Sharma's husband underwent an immediate operation that would not have been required had the initial diagnosis been correct. It is also alleged that Sharma's husband experienced a stroke during the operation that went unnoticed by the surgeon.

In a letter to University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, Sharma expressed concerns that the surgeon who had performed the negligent operation on her husband was still operating on patients in Sussex Hospital. In a letter of response, the Trust refused to acknowledge that the surgeon's cases were being reviewed. The Trust confirmed that a number of cases were being reviewed but refused to acknowledge the names of the surgeons involved.

Other cases include Lewis Chilcott, a 23-year-old who passed away in July 2021 after an error during a tracheostomy procedure led to an infection and a fatal arterial haemorrhage. A coroner's inquiry conducted into Chilcott's death confirmed that the death was caused by an improperly positioned tube.

In May 2023, the Care Quality Commission downgraded the standing of the Trust after it found that the standards at two of its Hospitals had fallen. Inspectors had reported that staff and patients were being let down by senior leaders who refused to acknowledge the risks to patient safety within the Hospitals.

Operation Bramber has caused significant concern amongst patients who have been treated by the Hospital as well as their families. The families of the deceased patients anxiously await the outcome of the police investigation.

If you or your family member have experienced negligent treatment similar to the patients at Sussex Hospital, the Clinical Negligence Team at Forbes Solicitors are well versed to support you with your claim. We have experience in an array of medical negligence claims, ranging from brain injury to cancer misdiagnosis claims and would be delighted to assist you with your case.

Find out more about Forbes Solicitors' clinical negligence expertise in this section of our website. Alternatively, give us a call on 0800 037 4625 to discuss your case.

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

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