Hospital Faces Series of Compensation Claims for Negligent Eye Surgery

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A hospital in Somerset is facing a series of claims for compensation for negligent eye surgery after contracting a private clinic to perform some of the operations.

In May 2014, the Musgrove Park Hospital awarded a private healthcare contract to the Vanguard Heathcare clinic in an attempt to clear a backlog of patients which required cataract operations. Hearing of the offer, the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust prevented the private company from performing the operations after just four days-citing “technical reasons” for their actions.

It has now been revealed that half of the sixty-two patients that underwent the cataract operations have reported “poor outcomes”. Many of these patients have sought legal counsel about making claims for compensation for negligent eye surgery against the clinic.

Typically, only 1-in-400 cataract operations show any complications, making the rate at the clinic extraordinarily high. One man-eighty-four years of age-suffered permanent damage to his cornea which has left him requiring a cornea transplant if he ever wants to see again. Other patients have cited blurred vision, pain and swelling beyond what would normally be experienced after such an operation as side-effects they have experienced.

The hospital in question is treating those affected by the alleged negligence in its own ophthalmology department. It has refused to commented on the complication claims for negligent eye surgery-saying that it is carrying out its own investigation into the incidents. A spokesperson for Vanguard Healthcare admitted that the company had received three complaints and said “Patient care is our number one priority and we’re working closely with the Trust to understand and fully investigate the root causes of any complications.”

While responding to the question of who may be liable to settle the claims for negligent eye surgery, a Department of Health spokesperson said: “Patients deserve the safest and best care and the NHS will hold this company to account if things have gone wrong, and reclaim costs on behalf of patients. Whoever carries out NHS treatment is subject to the same strict Care Quality Commission regulatory regime.”

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