Parkinson's patient to take legal action against hospital trust after brain op

Keith Bastable. Pic - FBC Manby Bowdler <i>(Image: FBC Manby Bowdler)</i>
Keith Bastable. Pic - FBC Manby Bowdler (Image: FBC Manby Bowdler)

A PARKINSON’S sufferer from Brierley Hill who was left with bad side effects from failed brain surgery is to take legal action against the hospital responsible.

Keith Bastable claims the side effects he suffered from failed deep brain stimulation surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham were worse than the original Parkinson’s symptoms.

Michael Portman-Hann, of law firm FBC Manby Bowdler’s clinical negligence team, who is supporting Mr Bastable, said lawyers representing the hospital admitted Mr Bastable received “sub-standard” care in April 2019, for which they have apologised.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves implanting electrodes into specific areas of the brain, which produce electrical impulses to try to control and reduce the symptoms of a range of conditions, including epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

Mr Portman-Hann said: “The electrodes were not inserted in the correct part of Mr Bastable’s brain, which rendered the treatment ineffective.

“Unfortunately, he suffered some side-effects as a result which have affected him more than the original Parkinson's symptoms.

“The treatment left him needing further surgery to remove the original electrodes, and the whole experience has caused a huge amount of unnecessary stress and trauma.”

Mr Portman-Hann said Mr Bastable was not the only patient at the QE to have been affected, and the DBS surgery service had been subject to a full review involving more than 20 cases.

He said: “All patients who received DBS treatment between 2017 and 2019 have had their cases reviewed as a result of concerns about treatment and outcomes, and the results were damning.

“The inquiry found that most patients had little or no benefit from DBS, and many have suffered as a result of the treatment.

“It also said there had been unacceptable delays in responding to patient concerns.

“The inquiry panel said the problems were most likely due to poor team working, and a neurosurgeon whose technique was poor and failed to change in response to poor results. The team failed to identify the problem early, to continuously improve, and keep up to date with best practice.

“We understand the inquiry is now looking into patients who underwent DBS prior to 2017, and we are therefore currently unaware of how many patients have been affected by this issue.

“We are supporting Mr Bastable to hold the trust to account for the failures in his care, which were allowed to continue even after it was recognised that patient outcomes were poor. We are now pursuing a clinical negligence case against University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.”

Anyone who thinks they might be affected can contact Michael Portman-Hann at FBC Manby Bowdler on 01902 297415 or email Michael.Portman-Hann@fbcmb.co.uk.

The DBS service at the QE has now been suspended.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QE, said in a statement: “The Trust is committed to providing high-quality healthcare for all its patients and we are deeply sorry that we did not deliver this for many patients undergoing deep brain stimulation for their movement disorder."

The statement said the trust had "learned a great deal" from an independent report into the failings and it added: “Our neurosciences team and senior management have already taken steps to make vital improvements, based on the clear recommendations in the report, that will shape the way that the service is safely delivered in future.”