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Oswestry hospital pledge after inquest verdict

Oswestry | News | Published:

Bosses at a Shropshire hospital where a West Midlands businessman died in a low-risk knee operation have vowed to "fully co-operate" if the General Medical Council launches its own investigation. Bosses at a Shropshire hospital where a West Midlands businessman died in a low-risk knee operation have vowed to "fully co-operate" if the General Medical Council launches its own investigation. Louis Belcuore, 43, of Warwickshire, died at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital, in Oswestry in 2009. A jury at an inquest this week ruled Mr Belcuore died from an air embolism - a condition in which air enters the blood stream - caused by arthroscopic surgery. The narrative verdict came after it was revealed Professor James Richardson, who carried out the operation, modified equipment without approval. The verdict recorded that the surgical equipment used in the procedure was modified in a significant way, which was outside the intended use of the product. Approval should also have been sought from the Medical Device Committee for the modification, which contributed to the death of Mr Belcuore with additional factors of an unusually deep pseudo cyst, the verdict said. Mr Belcuore's family is now calling for a full investigation from the GMC and will file a damages claim against the hospital trust.

Bosses at a Shropshire hospital where a West Midlands businessman died in a low-risk knee operation have vowed to "fully co-operate" if the General Medical Council launches its own investigation.

Louis Belcuore, 43, of Warwickshire, died at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital, in Oswestry in 2009.

A jury at an inquest this week ruled Mr Belcuore died from an air embolism - a condition in which air enters the blood stream - caused by arthroscopic surgery. The narrative verdict came after it was revealed Professor James Richardson, who carried out the operation, modified equipment without approval.

The verdict recorded that the surgical equipment used in the procedure was modified in a significant way, which was outside the intended use of the product. Approval should also have been sought from the Medical Device Committee for the modification, which contributed to the death of Mr Belcuore with additional factors of an unusually deep pseudo cyst, the verdict said.

Mr Belcuore's family is now calling for a full investigation from the GMC and will file a damages claim against the hospital trust.

Trust chief executive Wendy Farrington-Chadd today said: "The safety of our patients is our paramount concern and immediately following this unexpected incident, the trust launched a full internal investigation and sought opinions from independent experts.

"The conclusions of the jury are consistent with our own findings. Following our investigation in 2010, we referred this case, and the actions of those involved, to the GMC for further consideration. The GMC and the trust are now aware of the outcome of the inquest, and the trust will fully cooperate with the GMC in any further investigations it makes in line with its established processes.

"Following the internal investigation the trust has admitted legal liability for this tragic incident and we have been aware of the family's legal position prior to the inquest.

"Professor Richardson is a highly experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeon who performs many operations and has worked at the hospital for over 18 years. However, the trust considers it would have been advisable for Professor Richardson to have sought approval for the modification of the equipment."

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