Tag Archives: treatment’

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Patients put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at Great Ormond Street

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital unnecessarily gave patients potentially dangerous drugs, subjected them to invasive tests and wrongly diagnosed them with a rare allergy, it can be revealed.

An inquiry into the world-renowned London hospital’s care of children with gut conditions found it was putting patients’ physical and mental health at risk, previously unpublished documents show. Misdiagnosis and over-treatment also saw patients put on very strict “exclusion diets” which brought no benefit.

The hospital’s own top doctor said that its gastroenterology department was managing eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) in a clinically “aggressive” and risky way that was at odds with usual medical practice.

EGID is an inflammation of the gut which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, sometimes described as a complex food allergy as children cannot eat some foods.

Patients’ families, hospital staff and senior doctors in other hospitals began raising concerns about the gastroenterology department as far back as 2011. However, they have still not been completely resolved, despite several inquiries and major improvements having been made.

The controversy has been uncovered in a year-long investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Amazing Productions, whose documentary airs on ITV on Wednesday. Secret hospital documents obtained by the BIJ show it called in outside experts in 2011, 2012 and 2015 to inquire into practices within the department after receiving unusually high numbers of complaints from families and after doctors both internally and externally expressed alarm. It is unclear how many patients were wrongly treated, although one document from 2015 saysGOSH’s gastroenterology team was treating “around 400 children” who had been diagnosed with the disorder. The full findings of the last of those three probes, an “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, have never been disclosed – until today.

The Royal College panel of four leading experts wrote to the hospital before starting the inquiry, saying they had “specific patient safety concerns … which leads us to believe the way the service is currently delivered may be causing avoidable harm to children”. Hospital staff and other NHS medics believed “the gastroenterology team ‘over-investigates’ and ‘over-diagnoses’. This, they felt, results in children undergoing invasive procedures and treatments which could unnecessarily compromise their physical or psychological wellbeing”, the letter added.

The hospital has admitted failings and apologised to patients affected. It has identified an unspecifiednumber of patients to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS watchdog, who, it admitted, had come to harm.

The Royal College also highlighted how some patients being treated for EGID had undergone “initial or multiple … gastroscopies and other invasive or lengthy procedures” before their symptoms had been properly considered, referring to a potentially unpleasant procedure in which a tiny camera is put down the throat to let doctors assess someone’s gullet and stomach.

GOSH staff had also diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions, including EGID, “excessively”, the panel found. In an extraordinary move, doctors in other hospitals were so concerned that they had stopped sending patients to Great Ormond Street .


In a 2016 briefing, Great Ormond Street had admitted that some approaches had been ‘at the aggressive end of the spectrum’

“Several clinical leads in secondary and tertiary trusts told us that they will no longer send patients to [GOSH] for second opinions because they are worried that they will return with an unexpected rare condition diagnosis and consequent treatment plan”, the experts wrote in July 2015 to Dr Vinod Diwakar, GOSH’s then medical director.

Great Ormond Street then brought in more external doctors to review the care given to more than 300 patients.

In a briefing to NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in December 2016, the hospital admitted that some approaches had been “at the aggressive end of the spectrum” and “some patients were exposed to the risks of unnecessary invasive investigations, difficult food-exclusion diets and drugs with potentially serious side effects”.

It also said some children had in fact been suffering from reflux or constipation, reviewers believed some endoscopies were unnecessary and some children should have been observed before being put on strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anxiety about the gastroenterology service forced the hospital to stop accepting most new referrals in 2015. The restriction is still in place. A recent follow-up report from the RCPCH found that that suspension had created “utter chaos” for other hospitals, which then had to look after an influx of medically complex patients who would normally have gone to GOSH.

The Royal College report found that the hospital was making “good progress” towards changes experts recommended in 2015, but some children still had diagnostic tests after too few checks and some of the gastroenterology consultants had not accepted the need to change their practices.

In a statement, the hospital said: “This is an incredibly complex area of medicine where there are no agreed clinical guidelines. Within this context while we always strive to provide the best possible care, we have acknowledged that we haven’t always got this right. For that we are very sorry.”

It added that experts believe the vast majority of care was good and there was no evidence of long-term consequences for any patients.

Could the future of mental health treatment be digital?

Business incubator Zinc gathers 55 people from 19 countries to rethink the world’s approach to treating mental illness

Zinc


Fixing a hole. Illustration: Blok Magnaye

Will Tanner is building a web hub for those who care for the mentally distressed. Billie Quinlan wants to make women happier with a digital sex guru. Rajshekar Patil is devising tools to help children moderate screen time. Rachel Thomas aims to change how people think using online modules.

In a speed-pitching session (like Dragon’s Den on fast-forward with better coffee and fewer self-interested billionaires) these and 20 similar propositions are rattled out by teams of two or three people who met only weeks ago.

Other ideas include proposals for improving maternal mental health, revamping social care and getting people active, as well as various “digital assistants” to help prevent burnout, manage money or plan retirement.

The proponents are an ultra-qualified class of 2018 – 55 people from 19 countries, doctors, data scientists, software developers and serial entrepreneurs who have been selected for an intense six-month programme under the aegis of Zinc, a business incubator with a social mission.

The aim is ambitious: to rethink the world’s approach to mental health treatment.

Quick guide

About this series

What is The Upside?

News doesn’t always have to be bad – indeed, the relentless focus on confrontation, disaster, antagonism and blame risks convincing the public that the world is hopeless and there is nothing we can do.

This series is an antidote, an attempt to show that there is plenty of hope, as our journalists scour the planet looking for pioneers, trailblazers, best practice, unsung heroes, ideas that work, ideas that might and innovations whose time might have come.

Readers can follow up with our Further Reading guides and can also recommend other projects, people and progress that we should report on, by filling out the form at the bottom of the article.

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And how it needs rethinking. Mental illness has emerged as a ubiquitous, universal scourge in recent years. No country or social group is immune. Nowhere has got to grips with how to treat the millions who fall ill every year. Health systems are stretched to helplessness. Mental health is still a poor relation of physical health. Pills are a scattergun approach. Therapy is costly, woefully inaccessible, even in rich countries.

In short, this is a crisis that is ripe for innovation. That’s where Zinc comes in. “We believe that too many important social problems are left to governments and charities to fix, and too many of them don’t get fixed,” says Paul Kirby, who founded Zinc last year with venture capitalist Saul Klein and marketing strategist Ella Goldner.

“Solutions often rely on individuals, families, local communities, employers and other having the motivation, opportunities and capabilities to change things for themselves,” Kirby added.

One thing people who suddenly succumb to mental illness often complain about is not just the lack of clinical help but the paucity of information on what is available – locally, nationally, publicly, privately.

Zinc


Will Tanner and business partner Ben Grace Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Jim Woods reckons the answer is a proper platform for services – a sort of “moneysupermarket.com for mental health” as he puts it. The bewildered sufferer will get guidance on treatments, counsellors, self-help communities, apps, peer support and literature.

“We want to build a whole new global system for mental health. A platform with answers for people rich and poor,” says Woods, an entrepreneur and former CEO of the Yo! group. The aim is to offer prevention as well as cure, and Woods expects businesses to sign up to the platform because of the growing interest in preventing staff becoming sick.

“The NHS can only do reactive, fixing illnesses,” Woods says. “Prevention is the cheapest way.”

Others are more interested in the physical manifestations of mental unease. Take IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. Gastro specialists admit there are few treatments for sufferers. Some doctors believe it is caused principally by a surfeit of stress.

“IBS is all about stress, and with technology we can deliver tools that can alleviate symptoms,” says Jossy Onwade, a 27-year-old Nigerian doctor, who left his home and family and came to London for the first time to take on the challenge.

Zinc


Jossy Onwade and partner Elena Mustatea Photograph: Mark Rice-Oxley for the Guardian

Indeed, many of the participants have left homes, jobs, spouses, children behind to pursue their ambitions. Aziz Lalljee left his wife in America for six months to try to realise his plan for “a new model of domiciliary social care that dignifies the carer and delights the receiver”.

“I’m here for as long as it takes for this to succeed,” he promises.

Of course, not all the ideas will get off the ground. Some do not seem terribly original: you wonder, for example, whether a world that already has a proliferation of mental health apps such as headspace and woebot needs any more or whether shattered minds in need of rest really need more digital stimulus.

The fact that these are businesses could also prove controversial: some will fail; some may make profits – from the mental discomfort of others.

Entrepreneur and investor Tuvi Orbach is already mentoring several groups with a view to buying stakes. “I will invest in a few of these companies because I believe they will be successful,” he says.

Zinc


A pitching session at Zinc Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Zinc aims to run 15 such programmes over the next five years, hoping to create as many as 200 new businesses to tackle pressing social issues in the developed world. It is currently raising money to support its programmes. “We are relying on a lot of goodwill,” says Kirby.

This article is part of a series on possible solutions to the world’s biggest problems. What else should we cover?

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