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Former patients of Michael Walsh, shoulder surgeon at Spire Healthcare Hospital, recalled

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Spire Healthcare has recalled patients of Michael Walsh, a shoulder surgeon practicing from Spire Leeds Hospital, due to concerns raised about the care his patients have received.

Spire Healthcare is the parent group operating Spire Parkway Hospital where convicted breast surgeon Ian Paterson performed criminally unnecessary surgeries. This recall follows shortly after reports of an independent review of Mr Habib Rahman, an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in shoulder surgery at Spire Parkway Hospital.

It is understood that 200 patients of Mr Walsh have been reviewed and 50 have been subject to a recall. However, other surgeons at Spire Healthcare are also under investigation and Shoosmiths is currently instructed to investigate a claim relating to surgery performed by another consultant orthopaedic surgeon, whose care of our client is the subject of an internal investigation according to a letter from Spire to our client, Mr Louie Ramone, dated August 2019.

That letter from Spire Healthcare hospital director Silvie Adams notified Mr Ramone of its investigation, saying specialists "are agreed that there is very little clinical or radiological justification" for the procedure he underwent on 10 September 2018 (known as a capsular plication) and that he “should have had a period of specialist physiotherapy both before and after surgery.”

Mr Ramone, from Sheldon, Birmingham, then met with Ms Adams on 6 August 2019, when he was examined by another consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who Mr Ramone claims that, after questioning him on his symptoms, told him: "I don't know why you've had the operation.”

There is no suggestion that other patients are affected.

If these latest reports of more surgeons undertaking unnecessary, inappropriate or improper surgical procedures at Spire Healthcare hospitals are indeed true, it is a matter of significant concern and reinforces concern about patient safety in the independent private healthcare sector, especially coming just weeks after the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Ian Paterson were published and a number of significant and far reaching recommendations were made. Recalls such as this one demonstrate the importance of the need for those recommendations to be put into place immediately.

Medical negligence partner Kashmir Uppal has been instrumental in pursuing claims on behalf of those injured by Paterson since 2010 and she continues to work with women treated by Paterson privately at Spire Healthcare. She commented:

“More news of a surgeon being investigated at Spire implies that the failings which allowed Paterson to get away with what he did for so long are in fact deep rooted and systemic across the private healthcare sector. It is good to see Spire has taken proactive steps to recall patients, but they must ensure that full investigations are made for any patient that raises concerns. They should also review their practice in light of the Paterson inquiry to prevent this from happening to future patients. Patient safety must be at the forefront of every healthcare decision.”

Anyone who is concerned about surgery performed by Mr Walsh or other surgeons at a Spire hospital, should contact Spire Healthcare to request review of their treatment, or contact  [email protected] for guidance on how to request a review.

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