Shoosmiths’s free advice clinic for patients who were concerned about the breast cancer treatment they received at Royal Stoke University Hospital Trust proved a very useful exercise according to Sharon Banga and Kashmir Uppal, the specialist medical negligence lawyers with the firm who attended the event.
The advice clinic, held at the North Staffs Carers Association Carers Centre in Duke Street, Fenton, helped to identify a number of concerned women interested in pursuing a claim for their unsatisfactory treatment by an, as yet, unnamed surgeon.
He is presently subject to an internal investigation which began on 2 February 2016 and has been prevented from seeing patients since 22 January 2016. The hospital, praised for their prompt action in this matter, has also notified the Royal College of Surgeons who are conducting their own investigation.
One of the women who attended the advice clinic had been treated by the surgeon and, although she had not yet received a recall letter from the Trust herself, she confirmed that there are a number of others in her support group who are equally anxious and some who had received a recall letter.
Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence specialist and partner at Shoosmiths, has played a leading role in cases such as these. She maintains that yet more examples of potential failures in the treatment of breast cancer should be a matter of great public concern:
‘We need to work together to support all affected patients we identified at the clinic who will naturally be worried and anxious, especially those who may already have received recall letters. We are now going to follow up with local support groups and concerned individuals. We are happy to speak to people on an individual basis if they feel they may have been affected.’
The North Staffs Carers Association (NSCA), which provided the venue and organises free services for unpaid carers as well as support to charity groups in North Staffordshire, were also concerned about the issue. A local charity, the NSCA was established in 1987 with the aim of providing information and advice, emotional support, practical help, assistance in accessing benefits or grants and the facilities of a dedicated Carers Centre to communities across North Staffordshire.
Kashmir Uppal concluded:
‘We will continue to foster and maintain links with breast care charities and support groups throughout the region and are delighted to be able to assist the North Staffs Carers Association in the good work that they do in any way we can. We were able to identify women who could benefit from immediate legal advice but we were also encouraged by the offer of being involved in future events at the Carers Centre.’
The Shoosmiths medical negligence team are highly experienced in representing patients who have suffered harm due to negligent surgical treatment carried out by the same surgeon. Recent cases handled by the team include Roger Bainton, a maxillofacial surgeon employed by the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust and Ian Paterson, the surgeon who performed totally unnecessary breast surgery on a number of women at the Heart of England Foundation Trust and private hospitals in The Spire Group.
Anyone who has received a recall letter from the hospital or is concerned about the breast surgery treatment they received at the Royal Stoke University Hospital but was unable to attend the advice clinic should contact Kashmir Uppal on 03700 86 4375 for confidential advice about the options available to them.
Any patients who are concerned about their treatment in general as well as at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in particular can contact Shoosmiths through the website (www.accesslegalsolicitors.co.uk) or call the firm’s free client services team on 01256696330.