A number of patients at a Somerset Hospital have made faulty eye surgery claims for compensation after a private healthcare company was brought in to conduct cataract removal operations.
The faulty eye surgery claims started in May of this year when the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust contracted a private company – Vanguard Healthcare – to help clear a backlog of patients waiting for cataract removal operations at the Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.
After just four days the contract was cancelled and operations halted due “technical reasons”; and, since the cancellation of the contract, thirty-one of the sixty-two patients treated by Vanguard Healthcare surgeons have reported “poor outcomes” to their operations and are seeking legal advice about making faulty eye surgery claims for compensation.
Operations to remove cataracts are usually very low risk – typically 1-in-400 results in complications – but many of the patients considering faulty eye surgery claims for compensation have complained about blurred vision, swelling and pain beyond that which would normally be associated with a cataract removal operation.
One 84-year-old patient in particular suffered permanent damage to his cornea during a cataract removal operation, and he will need a cornea transplant to restore his vision.
The Musgrove Park Hospital is treating those affected by the alleged faulty eye surgery in its own ophthalmology department, but the hospital and NHS Trust are refusing to comment on the possibility that patients may be able to recover compensation for faulty eye surgery. The Trust has announced that it is carrying out its own investigation into the allegations.
Vanguard Healthcare admitted that the company had received complaints about the standard of healthcare it had delivered and has committed to work closely with the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to establish the root causes of the complaints.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health commented that any compensation settlements for faulty eye surgery claims would be recovered from Vanguard Healthcare, along with the cost of repairing the damage the private healthcare company may have done to the NHS patients.