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    Following recent media coverage around a now suspended surgery at Maidstone Hospital we have received enquiries from a further ten patients and their families.

    Law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore has received enquiries from a further ten patients and their families following recent media coverage around a now suspended surgery at Maidstone Hospital. 

    In an article in the Kent Messenger on March 7, the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust admitted that five people had died between 2012 and 2013 after undergoing upper gastrointestinal (GI) key-hole surgery at the hospital.

    However, new enquiries received by us, relating to a further eight serious injuries and two deaths, have raised concerns that there were complications as far back as 2008 and as recently as January 2014.

    The Trust has said that in the wake of the five deaths in 2012-2013 it invited a review of the procedure by the Royal College of Surgeons, and then passed the review to the General Medical Council (GMC). That review has not been made public.

    Lawyer Sharon Lam, from Thomson Snell & Passmore in Tunbridge Wells, said:

    "We welcome the announcement by the spokesperson of the Trust that the complications that led to deaths were avoidable. But it is not clear why the Trust felt sufficiently concerned to pass  the Royal College of Surgeons’ review to the General Medical Council even though they say they took “no further sanctions.” 

    “There are still a lot of unanswered questions. Were any staff disciplined as a result of the internal audit or review by the Royal College of Surgeons?  Who were the staff involved? Are the same staff now free to carry out those surgeries privately despite the same being suspended at the Trust?  Were the private hospitals where the surgeons practice aware of the Trust’s concerns? "

    Ms Lam added:

    "Some patients believe they had prolonged hospitalisation and some had to undergo subsequent open corrective surgeries”.  

    "Requests have been made by Thomson Snell & Passmore on 3 March 2014 for the disclosure of the Trust’s internal audit as well as the RCS’ findings or reports.  To date, we have still not received the documents that we requested. 

    “Thomson Snell & Passmore is now urging the Trust to make a full and frank disclosure to address these unanswered questions.”

    For further information please contact Helen Scott at Byfield Consultancy on 0207 092 3999.

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