Patients recalled in Wolverhampton after doctor's new pair of glasses leads to patients' eyes being damaged at New Cross Hospital

Monday 14th November 2022

Waldrons Solicitors have been instructed by a patient who had received ophthalmology treatment at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, who has since been provided with a concerning report about the services provided. The report was completed after problems were identified following a number of intravitreal injections in late 2021. The report says that the main reason for the problems arising was a change in technique caused by glare on a new pair of glasses worn by a Locum Doctor.

What treatment has been under review?

The treatment under question is Intravitreal Injections, part of the Ophthalmology Service provided at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton. Intravitreal injections are injections of medicine into the eyeball; the eyeball is filled with fluid (vitreous) and the medicine is injected into the fluid to help treat certain eye problems. Tens of thousands of injections are carried out throughout the UK every year.

What has been going wrong?

A Locum Consultant Ophthalmologist started at the New Cross Hospital in October 2021. In December 2021 a patient who had undergone intravitreal injections with the Locum Consultant two days previously attended the Eye Referral Unit complaining of a drop in vision. The Locum was suspended on the same day. Two more patients attended hospital that month, both complaining of similar problems. One was found to have lens damage and had to be listed for cataract surgery.

A recall of the Locum’s patients began in late December, and an external review was commissioned. Of 341 patients who were reviewed, 103 were found to have lens damage. Of a further 23 patients who were reviewed individually by the external review team, 8 were found to have lens damage that was clearly related to the injections carried out by the Locum. Another 100 patients who had received injections from a different doctor were also reviewed; none were found to have lens damage.

As part of the review process, the Locum was spoken to and explained that a new pair of glasses had caused lighting glare. She changed positioning to avoid the ‘glare’ and said that this change in position/technique was what had led to the lens damage occurring. The Locum had previously carried out injections without wearing any glasses. The review team found that the lighting in the treatment room was satisfactory.

What are the trust doing about it?

Part of the recall process will undoubtedly involve remedial treatment for those affected. The Trust have also informed the relevant regulatory agencies about the Locum Consultant, and recommended that all new doctors within the Ophthalmology Department carry out a competency check before being able to perform unsupervised intravitreal injections. It is unclear as to whether the Locum still works at the Trust.

What if you have been affected?

If you, or someone you know, has suffered eye damage/vision loss as a result of intravitreal injections carried out at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, please click here to contact one of our medical negligence specialists. We offer a free, no-obligation assessment of your case, and work on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. We have offices across the Black Country, and offer home visits too.