28th Jun, 2022

Grandfather speaks out over private hospitals after bile duct 'severed during gallbladder operation'

Sarah Mason 23rd Dec, 2019

A GRANDFATHER is calling on private hospitals to be more transparent with patients after his bile duct was allegedly severed during a gallbladder operation.

Keith Salt’s legal representatives say he now has a shortened life expectancy after suffering complications during a procedure which was outsourced by the NHS to Solihull’s Spire Parkway Hospital.

The Damson Parkway hospital was previously at the centre of a scandal involving convicted surgeon Ian Paterson who was jailed for carrying out unnecessary breast cancer operations.

The privately run facility paid the 60-year-old an undisclosed settlement after he suffered the bile duct injury during an op to remove his gallbladder.

A liver surgeon from an NHS hospital had to be called to help treat him and reconstruct the duct because there was no specialist team on hand, it is alleged.

Mr Salt, from Staffordshire, was later admitted to an NHS hospital and diagnosed with the liver disease cholangitis.

It is claimed to have left the grandfather-of-eight in regular pain and he has been forced to retire from his job as a lorry driver and civil worker for a water company.

He also suffers from regular gallbladder infections and may even require a liver transplant in future.

Mr Salt said: “We have always been family orientated and always enjoyed being able to help the children and grandchildren.

“We would regularly babysit for the grandchildren. I was the sort of granddad who would go running around, playing games. However, I cannot do as much of that now.

“I am quite an independent person but I have depended on my wife, Tina and the rest of my family since I came out of hospital in June 2013.”

Mr Salt had been on a waiting list for several months, but opted to undergo surgery at the private hospital while still an NHS patient under the Choose and Book scheme.

He added: “For months I was in agony and things seem to be getting worse.

“When I was told about being able to have surgery at the private hospital I thought that would be an end to things.

“My concentration was on the surgery to cure my symptoms, I wasn’t thinking about what could go wrong.

“I just feel that the risks and what could happen if there were complications were not fully explained to me.

“If I’d have known then what I now know I would have decided to wait for an appointment on the NHS.

“The last few years and coming to terms with everything and what it means for the future has been incredibly difficult.

“I know nothing can make up for what happened.

“I just think that private hospitals should be more open with patients so they can make the best decision about their care.”

Mr Salt’s legal team secured him an undisclosed settlement, believed to be two years ago, which it is claimed will fund the specialist care he requires.

Spire Healthcare Ltd denied liability for negligence but Mr Salt’s representatives claim it admitted that, had Mr Salt not suffered a bile duct injury, he would have been in hospital for around three to five days and would have made a full recovery in six weeks.

We invited Spire to respond to all the allegations.

Fergus Macpherson, Medical Director at Spire Healthcare, said: “We are sorry for the experience that Mr Salt had in our hospital and we have learnt lessons from his case.

“Patient safety and high-quality care are always our first priority at Spire Parkway Hospital.

“Our hospitals are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in the same way as NHS Hospitals. We are very pleased that the most recent report, published last week, rated Spire Parkway Hospital as “Good,” up from the “Requires Improvement” rating it received at the time of the last inspection in 2015.

“Currently, 83 per cent of Spire Healthcare sites are rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.”

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