Tag Archives: wins

Surgeon jailed over patient’s death wins appeal against conviction

A surgeon who served a jail sentence over the death of a patient at a private hospital has won an appeal against his conviction.

David Sellu, 69, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in November 2013 and handed a two and a half year prison term at the Old Bailey.

On Tuesday, three court of appeal judges in London allowed his challenge against the conviction relating to the death of James Hughes, a father of six from Northern Ireland.

Hughes, 66, died at the Clementine Churchill hospital in Harrow, north-west London, after falling unexpectedly ill after surgery on his left knee.

The retired builder had a planned knee replacement on 5 February 2010. The operation went well, but he developed abdominal pain during his recovery and was transferred to Sellu’s care.

It was the standard of the doctor’s care of Hughes over a period of about 25 hours that formed the basis of the case against him.

At a recent hearing the appeal judges heard that the “essence” of the prosecution case was that the doctor, a “respected consultant colorectal surgeon”, should have performed an operation to repair a perforated bowel “at a much earlier time”.

But a QC argued on behalf of Sellu, who served 15 months before being released in February last year, that his conviction for gross negligence manslaughter was “unsafe” on a number of grounds.

Sellu, of Hillingdon, west London, was present in court to hear Sir Brian Leveson, who heard the case with Lord Justice Irwin and Mr Justice Globe, announce that the conviction should be quashed.

Leveson gave the prosecution 24 hours to make an application if they wished to seek a retrial.

Doctor wins appeal over shaken baby syndrome trials evidence

A doctor barred from practising over evidence she gave in criminal trials involving so-called shaken baby syndrome has had her licence reinstated.

Dr Waney Squier, a consultant paediatric neuropathologist, won a high court appeal battle when a judge cleared her of dishonesty on Thursday.

Squier, who worked at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, had her name removed from the medical register at a medical practitioners tribunal service in March.

The tribunal concluded she gave deliberately misleading and dishonest evidence for the defence in trials between 2007-10 regarding four babies and a 19-month-old who died after sustaining deliberate head injuries.

On Thursday, Mr Justice Mitting overturned the decision, saying it was flawed because her views were not misleading. However, he said she had failed to work “within the limits of her competence, to be objective and unbiased and pay due regard to the views of other experts”.

A spokeswoman for the General Medical Council, which brought the case against Squier, said: “Mr Justice Mitting has confirmed that this case was not about scientific debate and the rights and wrongs of the scientific evidence, but the manner in which Dr Squier gave evidence.

“The ruling makes clear that she acted irresponsibly in her role as an expert witness on several occasions, acted beyond her expertise and lacked objectivity, and sought to cherry-pick research which it was clear did not support her opinions.”

Widow of Falklands war veteran wins legal battle to save frozen embryos

The widow of a Falklands war veteran has won a high court declaration giving her a “last chance” to have her late husband’s child.

Samantha Jefferies, 42, from East Sussex, was forced to go to court after the shock discovery that the 10-year period for storing the frozen embryos the couple had created had been inexplicably amended to two years and had since expired.

Jefferies and her husband, Clive, had been undergoing fertility treatment when he died suddenly, aged 51, of a brain haemorrhage.

A judge has now declared that the amendment to the storage period was not valid and the embryos, instead of being allowed to perish, can still lawfully be stored and used.

The declaration was made by Sir James Munby, president of the family division of the high court, who said he would give his reasons later in writing.

Jefferies said the judge’s decision was “overwhelmingly fantastic – just brilliant, amazing”.

Jefferies, an occupational therapist, said she did not have a plan for using the embryos soon but added: “I would love to be a mum.”

She thanked the judge for Googling the history of her husband, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was onboard the transport ship Sir Galahad when it was bombed in the Falklands in 1982, killing 48 men.

She told the court her husband was “a wonderful man”, adding: “I want my husband’s child.”

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority supported her application on the grounds that the amendment to the MT form – used to record consent for embryo storage – had not been signed by Clive Jefferies.

BMI Healthcare Ltd, which runs the Sussex Downs Fertility Centre where the couple received treatment, also supported her and funded her legal costs.

The judge said BMI seemed to have acted “with sensitivity and compassion”.

Jefferies paid tribute to all those who had supported her “commonsense” application and said: “It has given me faith in the law.”

In court, Jenni Richards QC told the judge: “Samantha has brought this case because the embryos she is seeking to preserve represent her last chance of having the child of her husband they had both so dearly wanted.”

Three embryos were created from Jefferies’ eggs and her late husband’s sperm, with consent for them to be stored for 10 years from August 11 2013. Her husband also consented to their posthumous use.

The couple met in 1999 and married in December 2006 and always wanted to have children, the court heard.

After trying naturally for many years, they were referred in 2013 for NHS-funded IVF treatment, said Richards.

A number of amendments were made to Clive Jefferies’ consent form, including one specifying a reduction in the storage period from 10 years to two.

Most of the amendments were countersigned by Clive Jefferies, but the change to the storage period was not, said Richards.

Jefferies did not know who made the amendment and it came as a shock when she discovered it.

Richards said it was likely the amendment was made to reflect the clinic’s policy at the time, which was to only offer storage for the period for which the NHS would provide funding.

There was evidence that the clinic had asked couples to amend their forms to two years if they had chosen a longer period of storage.

Granting Jefferies a declaration that storage and use was lawful until August 11 2023, the judge said: “I am just so sorry that people like you should have no idea that this can end up in court because of mistakes made by other people who should have known better.”

Einstein-inspired Isobar vaccine cooling system wins UK James Dyson award

A portable cooling system for temperature-sensitive vaccines which could save millions of lives in third world countries has won its 22-year old designer a prestigious James Dyson award.

Will Broadway, an industrial design and technology graduate from Loughborough University, developed the Isobar system for his final degree project after seeing the huge waste of valuable vaccines, which lost their potency as a result of inadequate storage and transportation conditions in remote regions.

Before starting his university course, Broadway spent seven weeks travelling through Cambodia, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam, where he saw the challenges faced by medical staff in getting life-saving vaccines to the people who need them.

Current vaccine programmes in developing countries do not meet rigorous international standards for temperature-safe vaccine distribution. Ice or cold packs are generally used, which can freeze the vaccine to a temperature lower than considered thermally stable, and leads to vaccines losing potency.

In 2015, an estimated 19.4 million children worldwide failed to receive routine immunisation services, with more than 60% of these living in developing countries. Figures suggest that an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination systems improve.

Broadway’s hi-tech, rechargeable cooling system was inspired by an invention patented by Einstein in 1906, known at the time as the Icyball. The device was originally used to provide rural farmers with electricity-free refrigeration, and required only a heat source to drive a chemical process.

The Isobar is specifically designed to maintain stable temperature control between 2C (35F) and 8C (46.4F) during the “final mile” distribution of vaccine in remote regions without power. The cooling effect lasts for up to six days inside an insulated backpack, and can be recharged in just over an hour using either electricity or propane.

Broadway said he was thrilled to receive the UK James Dyson award, which includes a £2000 cash prize. Broadway plans to use the money to develop further prototypes and apply for patents.

“I am so pleased that this technology can get a bit of the limelight”, he added. “ It was such an innovative technology in 1929 that was forgotten and taken over by electric refrigeration. It gives me the confidence to pursue it with my whole heart in the knowledge that I can actually make this device and that it could have a great impact for the benefit of thousands of people”. He paid tribute to the help of his tutor at Loughborough, Dr John McCardle, and for his “constant scrutiny” over hundreds of hours of development.

It will now be entered into the international running for the final leg of the James Dyson Award – announced in October – which will award the winning entry £30,000 to fund further development.

Jack Lang, fellow at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, co-founder and chair of Raspberry Pi and UK James Dyson Award judge 2016 said: “Isobar is a brilliant invention. It solves a real problem and is a complete, well thought-through system.”

Transplant patient wins payout more than kidney from donor with cancer

Robert Law

Robert Law explained he hoped lessons had been realized from his situation. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

A transplant patient who was given a kidney from a donor with an aggressive type of cancer has been awarded a six-figure compensation settlement by the NHS to assist him rebuild his daily life.

Robert Law, 62, of Wirral, Merseyside, was one of two people who had to undergo six cycles of chemotherapy following obtaining kidneys at the Royal Liverpool University hospital in 2010.

NHS Blood and Transplant admitted negligence two years in the past, and its chief executive, Lynda Hamlyn, has apologised once again, saying changes were produced right after Law’s ordeal. The other patient, Gillian Sensible, from St Helens, Merseyside, is nevertheless negotiating a settlement. Law’s award is understood to be a low 6-figure sum.

The pair acquired kidneys from a female who had died at one more hospital. An autopsy revealed the donor had intravascular B cell lymphoma.

Law said: “I hope that lessons have been realized from my situation and that this has assisted to make the method safer by making sure all medical workers involved with transplants have the instruction and help they want. I am extremely grateful for the donated kidney and to the haematology department for their therapy and care for the cancer, but it is just a shame genuinely NHSBT could not say what went wrong.

“My kidney is doing work nicely, factors are going proper. The renal division [at the hospital] are satisfied with my progress. I am satisfied with that. But I have been left with a variety of problems … physiological and psychological, for which I am acquiring ongoing care and remedy.”

He has made the decision not to have any a lot more scans to check out no matter whether he had new ailment in his kidney. “As I was informed from the start [the lymphoma] was an aggressive condition, that people usually die inside of two many years, I just keep my fingers crossed and mosey along.”

Law explained his bones and muscle tissue ached, he had neuropathy and he utilized a walking stick. “It is like a wasting of the muscle tissues. I don’t have any power. I am on various tablets to take away individuals pains. I am glad to be alive and I just get about in a slower fashion. I tend to put on T-shirts or shirts that are already buttoned up for me. Co-ordination is challenging. I am immunosuppressed and I tend to get any and each ailment going.

“To be truthful, it is only in the final twelve months I haven’t been paying time with legal matters, reviews and examinations, so I intend to make the most of my lifestyle now, put the transplant and cancer behind me and reside my existence to the fullest.”

Eddie Jones, Law’s solicitor at the Manchester company JMW, mentioned his consumer had conducted himself with great dignity by speaking in help of organ donation. “This variety of error is rare, but as with the numerous others we deal with it could have been averted with satisfactory coaching, monitoring and communication.”

NHS Blood and Transplant has previously explained the incident arose from human error by a professional nurse who had not finished coaching. Law and Intelligent every single acquired a kidney that would have been rejected by their surgeon if he had been conscious of the total details of the donor.

The services acknowledged then a failure to talk to the transplant crew in Liverpool the probability that the donor had lymphoma, but did not say the transplanted kidneys had been cancerous. Attorneys for Law and Intelligent mentioned they have been.

Hamlyn told the Guardian: “I would like to reiterate to Mr Law how sorry we are that this blunder was manufactured. I hope the full and last settlement of his case signifies he can move on from what regrettably happened. I would also like to reassure Mr Law we have discovered lessons and have created a amount of alterations as a direct end result of this situation. The vast vast majority of transplants are carried out effectively. Nevertheless, no donated organ is danger-free and recipients need to be given total data about the hazards by their surgeon.”

NHSBT mentioned an electronic technique was now employed for recording and transferring info about donors. “Verbal communication is discouraged unless needed and in which it is utilized, phone calls are recorded and the require to document all data has been stressed to staff.”

It said supervision of trainees and training of expert nurses had been reviewed and the Coroner’s Society had been asked to send guidance to pathologists so that NHSBT knew instantly about anything at all of note identified for the duration of autopsies on donors.

The government’s independent advisers on the security of blood tissue and organs, Sabto, stated lately that the danger of cancer getting transmitted when its presence was not identified before or throughout organ retrieval and transplant was much less than a single in 2,000 organs transplanted. Organs from deceased donors with some cancers could be securely used and the danger of an “inadvertent” tumour had to be balanced towards the need of a individual awaiting a transplant.

A NHSBT review published online in the BJS journal last week assessed transplants from 17,639 deceased organ donors in England amongst 1990 and 2008. This suggested organs from donors with a history of cancer posed a low risk for recipients. In 61 circumstances, donors were regarded to have a higher danger of transmitting cancer, but recipients remained cancer-totally free, the study said. With checks, the wishes of more donors could be met, benefiting a lot more individuals, it said.

Andrew Solomon wins Wellcome Book Prize 2014

Academic and journalist Andrew Solomon has been announced as the winner of this year’s Wellcome Guide Prize for Far From the Tree: Dad and mom, Youngsters and the Search for Identity. The book, for which Solomon interviewed much more than 300 households above the course of a decade, explores the exclusive parent-youngster romantic relationship and how it is impacted by “distinction” this kind of as deafness, autism or homosexuality.

Solomon’s entry noticed off five other shortlisted books to get the £30,000 prize, awarded for the best new perform of fiction or non-fiction in the health care and well being genre. Sir Andrew Motion, who chaired the judging panel, mentioned the decision was unanimous, adding: “The guide took him 10 years to write, and the positive aspects of his persistence and thoughtfulness are evident everywhere.”

Motion presented Solomon with his prize funds and a trophy, consisting of several sheets of glass depicting MRI scans, at a ceremony at the Wellcome Collection in London on Thursday evening.

Solomon dedicated the award to the families whose stories characteristic in the guide: “I accept this prize on their behalf, with admiration for the human spirit that allowed so a lot of of them to end up grateful for lives they would after have carried out anything at all to avoid.”

NHS whistleblower wins landmark dismissal case

A hospital consultant who was “hounded mercilessly” out of his job soon after raising considerations about patient safety has won a landmark legal victory for unfair dismissal after the longest-operating and most high-priced whistleblowing situation in NHS background.

Dr Raj Mattu, a cardiologist, was suspended for eight years, then sacked, soon after warning that patients were dying due to the fact of expense-cutting practices introduced by a Coventry hospital.

NHS bosses employed private investigators in an apparent attempt to discredit him, paying an estimated £6 million in pursuit of the case towards him. Colleagues stated he had been “hounded mercilessly” by hospital managers following speaking out.

On Thursday night MPs stated the employment tribunal ruling, which located the whistleblower had been unfairly dismissed, shone a light on a “sinister and dystopian” culture of cover-up within the NHS, which destroyed the lives of those who attempted to communicate up for patients. Experts believe Dr Mattu, now 54, could be in line for damages of as a lot as £10 million.

The medical doctor explained on Thursday night that he was “relieved” by the ruling but mentioned his lifestyle had been ruined by the actions of overall health chiefs given that his warning in 2002 that patients’ lives were currently being put at chance by price-cutting selections becoming taken at Walsgrave hospital, in Coventry.

Dr Mattu stated: “My remedy by the believe in above the previous 13 years has damaged my wellness, my expert status and my livelihood and its results on my personalized and private life have been devastating.” He mentioned he hoped that the health support would understand from the case and commence listening to whistleblowers.

Charlotte Leslie, a Conservative member of the Commons health select committee, said: “This shows just how far the NHS was prepared to go, spending millions trying to protect its popularity by taking on a person who was simply fighting for good patient care.”

She added: “This is a pattern, a dystopian world in which the priority is to hush up inconvenient truths and pursue sinister and aggressive policies to ruin those who talk out.”

A spokesman for University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS trust said it was disappointed by the employment tribunal’s choice “given that the method followed by the believe in was reviewed by the Court of Appeal in March 2012, when it located in the trust’s favour”. He explained the trust would think about its grounds for appeal.

Whistleblowing heart medical doctor who aired hospital security fears wins tribunal situation

Cardiac surgeons replace a heart valve.

Surgeons change a heart valve. Mattu raised issues such as patients’ beds being squeezed too shut collectively after operations. Photograph: Sean Smith/Guardian

A whistleblowing heart medical doctor who sounded the alarm about poor care and patient deaths at his own hospital has won a main legal victory towards his NHS employers, whose attempts to pursue in the end unsubstantiated allegations against him expense £6m of public money.

An employment tribunal has ruled that Dr Raj Mattu was unfairly dismissed by the Walsgrave hospital in Coventry, and suffered a series of “detriments” soon after he spoke out about what he saw as hazardous circumstances, which includes as well numerous patients’ beds becoming squeezed together to support alleviate overcrowding.

Mattu was sacked by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in 2010, nine years soon after he first aired his considerations publicly about what he stated was dangerous submit-operative care. He highlighted a series of worries about patient security, including the situations of two patients who died in crowded bays.

He voiced alarm at the hospital’s “5-in-4″ policy, beneath which – to save funds – an extra fifth bed was positioned in a bay meant for only four individuals. The Commission for Health Improvement, the then NHS watchdog, condemned the practice and criticised the hospital, which it said had a much larger death fee than must have been anticipated.

An employment tribunal sitting in Birmingham below Judge Hughes ruled this week that 54-yr-outdated Mattu had been unfairly dismissed and would receive compensation, which will be decided later on.

It described him as blameless, saying: “The claimant did not result in or contribute to his dismissal.”

The believe in ran up in excess of £6m in legal charges in its long quest against Mattu, which he mentioned was a campaign of vilification designed to discredit him for no purpose. The General Medical Council determined not to proceed to an inquiry following hunting into far more than 200 allegations the believe in created towards him.

It also employed private detectives to investigate the cardiologist and a public relations agency to manage media curiosity in the lengthy-running situation, which noticed Mattu obtain important assistance from his healthcare colleagues.

Mattu had been “vilified, bullied and harassed out of a work he loved”, the doctor’s lawyer claimed. “This has been a David v Goliath legal battle, which I am delighted to have won for my consumer,” explained his solicitor, Stephen Moore.

“The tribunal’s findings – that Dr Mattu was a whistleblower and was unfairly dismissed – entirely vindicate him. Dr Mattu was a amazing cardiologist and it was tragic that his pursuit of safety and the highest requirements in care led to him currently being vilified, bullied and harassed out of a work he loved.” Moore extra.

“This case has brought to light the appalling way whistleblowers are still being treated and raises critical and wider concerns that need to be addressed.”

In a statement, the trust stated it was “disappointed by the employment tribunal’s decision that the dismissal of Dr Mattu was unfair, provided that the procedure followed by the trust was reviewed by the court of appeal in March 2012, when it located in the Trust’s favour”.

It extra: “We are pleased that they have firmly rejected his main declare that his dismissal in 2010 was in any way linked to whistleblowing about patient care.

“As a believe in, we will continue to help all our personnel to increase problems of concern in our work to give continuous improvement in our solutions to patients.”

In his inaugural speech as the new chief executive of NHS England earlier this month, Simon Stevens stated that, while each and every whistleblower would not always be right, “the reality is, patients’ lives are saved when courageous people speak up – openly and truthfully – and when every single of us requires private accountability for putting items correct.”

Planet in a week: Mumbai slum resident wins million dollar prize

Great week for …

Jockin Arputham, a Mumbai slum resident and founder of India’s Nationwide Slum Dwellers Association, who has won a $ one.25 million Skoll award for social entrepreneurship.

Daniel Njuguna and James Kiarie, Kenyan assist employees who have been discovered in Somalia following becoming kidnapped in 2011.

Negative week for …

ten ladies who were advised to leave a Mumbai housing estate because they are daughters of intercourse staff.

Xu Zhiyong, a Chinese transparency campaigner, who had had his 4-year jail sentence upheld.

What you are saying

Planet Earth Institute held a discussion on The data revolution: what it signifies for scientific improvement in Africa, which prompted debate under the hashtag #africadata.

The week in numbers

185 million people close to the globe are contaminated with the hepatitis C virus, according to new WHO guidelines.

21,000 displaced people in South Sudan are living in squalor according to MSF, who accused the UN of a “shocking show of indifference”.

1 in 5 Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon is impacted by bodily, sensory or intellectual impairment, says Handicap Global in a new report.

$ 134.8bn is the quantity of advancement support given in 2013 – an all-time substantial – according to figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Improvement (OECD).

$ 7 bn is donated each yr by Africa’s leading 10 philanthropists.

58 million folks are at threat of hunger in Myanmar’s central dry area.

500,000 NGOs have registered in China above the previous 25 years.

Image of the week

Members of the anti-balaka, a Christian militia, patrol outside the village of Zawa April 8, 2014.
Members of the anti-balaka, a Christian militia, patrol outside the village of Zawa in the Central African Republic. Photograph: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters


The Supreme Court of the Philippines passed a law on contraception that has been debated in the 80% Roman Catholic country for 13 years.

It is 20 years because the International Conference on Population and Advancement in Cairo. The UN Population Fund has drawn up a record of 20 global demographic adjustments considering that then.

Reading checklist

Coming up coming week: have your say

  • Our live on the internet chat on Thursday 17 April is on engaging men and boys in the rights of ladies and women.
  • Make contact with us at globaldevpros@theguardian.com to suggest someone to join the specialist panel.

Amanda Holden wins victory for grieving mothers

Cathryn explained they opted for the latter but their ordeal was compounded by how they had been then handled by healthcare workers.

“I asked one particular of the nurses what would occur to my little one and she mentioned “it will be incinerated with the rest of the day’s waste’,” she explained.

“That was hard to hear. To me, it wasn’t the day’s waste, it was my baby. It would have been good to have some sort of decision about it, to mark that baby’s daily life but there was practically nothing in the hospital that gave us that possibility.”

Cathryn, who went on to have a healthier son, shared her story with Amanda Holden who presented the investigation’s findings.

The Britain’s Acquired Talent judge has suffered numerous setbacks herself in her quest to be a mom.

She is now the mom of two daughters, Lexi and Holly, with husband Chris. But in 2010 she had a miscarriage and in 2011, she had a stillborn son. Then when she gave birth to her second daughter, she nearly died after her heart stopped beating but was resuscitated by a midwife.

Amanda said she received “incredible” therapy and help from the NHS so she was shocked to hear of the struggling of other dad and mom.

Samantha Allington revealed how she was mistreated when she was rushed hospital in ache when 7 weeks pregnant.

She explained: ‘I had to do urine sample and the little one passed when I went to the toilet. A nurse came and grabbed the pot and ran off with it.

‘I was distressed wondering what she had accomplished with my child. I was then informed it had been incinerated. I felt like my little one had been stolen from me, I had no rights over what happened.’

The tv investigation found that 15,000 foetal stays have been incinerated by 27 NHS trusts in excess of the previous two many years alone, occasionally with the dad and mom unaware their babies are getting disposed of with other healthcare waste this kind of as syringes and swabs.

One hospital, Addenbrooke, in Cambridge is even heated by burning clinical waste such as miscarried infants.

Following the investigation, the Division of Health has issued an instantaneous ban on the practice which Dan Poulter, the well being minister, described as “totally unacceptable”.

Amanda Holden stated: “I was shocked at some of the discoveries I created in the course of filming. The mothers I spoke to mentioned that despite the best intentions of individual nurses and medical professionals, they often felt that hospitals weren’t as compassionate as they need to be in the direction of them.

“I am totally delighted that the government has announced a ban on this practice. The alter in policy signifies an finish to the misery and prolonged anguish of many mothers and fathers across England.”

The Care Quality Commission watchdog has also said it will investigate the programme’s findings.

A total of 1 in 7 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, even though NHS figures demonstrate there are about 4,000 stillbirths every single 12 months in the United kingdom – or 11 every day.