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Medical negligence lawyer concerned by investigation into Great Ormond Street Hospital

An investigation has criticised the treatment of some GOSH patients

Posted on 19 April 2018

An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists (BIJ) into the treatment of some patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital has highlighted concerns about the work of the gastroenterology department.

ITV’s investigative journalist programme, Exposure, also broadcast an episode on the report on 18 April which looked at the work of the department.

The investigation suggests that some patients were put at risk by ‘aggressive’ treatment at the hospital, including giving unnecessary drugs, carrying out invasive tests, and wrongly diagnosing them with a rare allergy.

The team at GOSH are said to have managed eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID), an inflammation of the gut, in a clinically ‘aggressive’ and ‘risky’ way.

The BIJ obtained hospital documents which revealed an unusually high number of complaints about the work of the team. Other hospitals also expressed concern about the effect that drugs prescribed by the GOSH team were having on their own patients. 

An “invited review” by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has also taken place. Before this starting its inquiry a panel of the Royal College wrote to the hospital saying that 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”.

GOSH has apologised to affected patients and has identified the number of patients that it believes have come to harm to the Care Quality Commission. 

The gastroenterology service at GOSH stopped accepting most new referrals in 2015 and the restriction is still in place. 

After the programme was broadcast a Great Ormond Street Hospital spokesperson 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 this we are very sorry.

Suzanne White, head of the clinical negligence team at Leigh Day, said,

“This report, and the comments from the regulatory bodies about the care given in these cases at Great Ormond Street Hospital, are of great concern.  It is particularly worrying that it is said that patients may have been treated “aggressively” and may have “come to harm.”