A medical error amputation scandal has rocked UK hospitals

A medical error amputation scandal has rocked UK hospitals

A recent investigation into wrongful amputations in UK hospitals since 2020 has revealed a number of alarming cases. According to an article in the British newspaper The Mirror published this Tuesday (5), six new victims have been identified, in addition to the eight already known.

A consortium that manages two university hospitals in the country has been held responsible for the improper mutilation of six patients. The cases occurred in 2020 and 2021, with four cases of medical negligence in the first year and two in the following.

Other similar cases at university hospitals have been confirmed by health regulators in England in recent months. Medway NHS Trust in Kent County recorded five amputations due to medical malpractice, one in 2021, three in 2022 and one in 2023.

Understand more about the case

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted six patients’ limbs were wrongly amputated over three years, representing the highest number of cases recognized by the NHS across the UK. The trust performed four amputations in 2020 and two more the following year, all due to medical negligence.

These cases are considered by the NHS as events that should never happen and are classified as “Serious and often preventable patient safety incidents may not have occurred if health care providers had implemented existing national guidelines or safety recommendations.“. The NHS designates these occurrences as avoidable. These significant patient safety lapses might be averted had healthcare providers adhered to national guidelines or safety recommendations. The resultant accident claims reflect this negligence.

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Nick Banks, an activist and member of an organization that supports victims of the healthcare system, expressed concern about the devastating impact of amputation on the lives of patients and their families.

In addition to the cases reported by the federation, other cases have been confirmed at several hospitals, including The George Eliot Hospital, East Kent Hospitals and Great Western Hospital.


Other hospitals such as The George Eliot Hospital (Reproductive/NHS East Midland) are targets for wrongful amputations.


Hospital assessments

Many NHS trusts chose not to publish specific figures, citing concerns about patient confidentiality, but provided rough estimates. They Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, less than ten amputations due to medical negligence; Under-five Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Harrogate and District, Lewisham and Greenwich, Central and South Essex NHS Trust, North Lincolnshire and Coole NHS Trust, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust, Under-15 NHS Trust, Salisbury NHS Trust NHS Trust Foundation Foundation, among others.

Featured photo: York and Scarborough hospitals admit wrongful amputations (Reproduction/Salix Finance)

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