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Further negligent claims lodged against NHS doctor

04/11/11: Manjit Bhamra’s hospital trust has already being forced to pay out £1 million to ten different patients after their surgeries went terribly wrong. Since then, though, the hospital trust is now facing another 85 different complaints. It already looks like it could turn into one of Britain’s largest clinical negligence claims against a single person to date.

Doctor Manjit Bharma has previously being referred to the General Medical Council twice as a result of his work. Currently, Dr. Bharma is working at another hospital which has said they have no concerns about his work.

Dr. Bharma, aged 55, specialises in orthopaedic surgery and stands accused of leaving his hip patients in so much pain that they are currently unable to work, and many of them are housebound. It was also revealed that one of his patients has to sleep in a chair at night because he cannot lie down.

In the ten previous cases, the hospital trust paid out compensation of between £1,750 and £500,000 to the patients who were treated by Dr. Bharma at Rotherham Hospital in South Yorkshire. However, it should be noted that liability was not accepted in all ten cases.

Dr. Bharma’s patients have differed in their grievances. One woman was left with one leg longer than the other after surgery. This placed her in so much pain that her entire hip joint had to be removed for three months before the problem was solved. A 23-year-old patient was disabled for life when he was given the wrong hip implant.

As of late 2011, negligence lawyers are looking in to new complaints which centre mainly on his last two years at Rotherham Hospital. The lawyers commented on the situation saying that they were shocked at the number of patients who had grievances about Dr. Bharma.

Since leaving Rotherham Hospital in 2007, Dr. Bharma is now working at Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield, as well as working in Southampton and London as part of his work with the private Care UK group.

In late October of 2011, a number of patients broke their silence on how their treatment had gone wrong for them.

Wayne Pickering from Doncaster explained how his pelvis was fractured during his hip surgery, which was designed to replace a cup to hold the joint, in February of 2006. The outcome of the case was that Rotherham Hospital admitted medical negligence and paid Mr. Pickering compensation.

The damage to Mr. Pickering was irreversible, though, as the former semi-professional footballer has had to give up his job as a result.

Prior to the operation, Mr. Pickering had already had several hip operations during his years playing football at clubs in both South Africa and England.

Mr. Pickering also recounted the damage which Dr. Bharma admitted to him after surgery when he said he had broken his pelvis, damaged a nerve, and had nicked an artery.
Even though further surgery was required, he was discharged two weeks later before having corrective surgery in 2010.

The lasting damage to Mr. Pickering includes permanent damage to the sciatic nerve which has left him confined to crutches for the rest of his life. The only medication which helps him to deal with the pain also caused short-term memory loss. Mr. Pickering, who was also forced to retire from being an engineering sales representative, comments that he suffers from days where he gets quite angry because of the pain wearing him down.

Other patients who suffered from botched surgeries include 91 year-old Winifred Mitchell from Rotherham who had a hip replacement completed by Dr. Bharma four years ago, which left her housebound.

67 year-old David Swailes from Rotherham also recounts his experience with Dr. Bharma as he explains how he has to sleep in a chair due to extreme pain. The experience with Dr. Bharma also left Mr. Swailes without a hip for three years.

The 67-year-old went under the knife in 2006 to replace his hip, but the surgery went wrong and the replacement hip soon came loose before going septic. The hip was then taken out and then it was not replaced until three years later. Mr. Swailes suffered significant external scarring and damage as a result of the experience.

Mr. Swailes also mentioned the fact that the botched surgery meant he had to have a specially built shoe as one of his legs was three inches shorter than the other. When he went to another consultant the consultant told Mr. Swailes that the surgery had been carried out incorrectly. Since the incident, Mr. Swailes has had to take special injections in order to cope with the pain.

During the same time period of 2006, a BBC documentary series was hosted by Gerry Robinson where he investigated the hospital’s operating theatres for six months before finally coming to the conclusion that there was a lot of friction amongst doctors and managers. Dr. Bharma commented on the situation by criticising the credentials of those who were managing the service by claiming that the system works by having people with a few O-level attempting to manage people who hold numerous degrees. Dr. Bharma himself was educated at Sheffield University.

Laywers acting for the patients commented by expressing surprise that so many people came forward as a result of the operations carried out by Dr. Bharma. It was revealed that as a result of the amount of claims put forward, the law firm had contacted the GMC with its concerns about Dr. Bharma.

The GMC has so far not replied or disclosed any information about whether Dr. Bharma is currently facing disciplinary action or being investigated as a result of these claims.

When both hospitals were asked to comment on the case of Dr. Bharma, a Rotherham Hospital responded that the hospital had strict procedures in place for dealing with complaints about the treatment which the hospital provides. He then went on to say that patients should contact their GP if they have any immediate concerns following treatment.

The medical director of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust commented on behalf of Pinderfield Hospital by saying that all staff were subject to strict checks and regular monitoring while they were working at the hospital. He then made assurances that the hospital would take the appropriate action should any patients make a complaint which proves to be true.

The representatives of Dr. Bharma, which in this case is the Medical Defence Union, declined to make any comment about Dr. Bharma as they claimed it violated patient confidentiality.