Concern for patients of Mr Mian Munawar Shah
It has been reported that up to 600 NHS patients are to be recalled in relation to treatment provided by Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Mian Munawar Shah. Concerns have arisen in relation to shoulder surgeries he has conducted, in particular laterjet procedures and shoulder joint replacements (arthroplasty). The recall is at the recommendation of the Royal College of Surgeons.
More recently, the private hospital operator Spire Healthcare has confirmed that they too are recalling patients in Birmingham due to their own concerns. They will not however be drawn on how many patients will be recalled.
What has occurred?
Mr Shah has been providing NHS treatment at Walsall Manor Hospital, as well as treating patients privately at Spire Little Aston (although he has reportedly not practised at the latter since March 2020).
The BBC has reported that there have been 21 medical negligence claims relating to Mr Shah’s surgery between 2010 and 2018. Some of these concern significant deterioration in the patient’s condition post-op. It is not clear if complaints pre-date this. The NHS Trust responsible for Walsall Manor Hospital contacted the Royal College of Surgeons in 2020 and their review of his work may be what has prompted the intervention of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) and the GMC. It is not clear why there was such a delay in investigating Mr Shah’s conduct and/or work.
Can Mr Shah still practise?
Yes – Mr Shah has a valid licence to practise medicine. However, he is subject to an order by the MPTS preventing him from conducting laterjet and arthroplasty procedures without direct supervision. The GMC has also imposed a number of additional conditions on his right to practice; including a requirement to be supervised in all of his posts by a clinical supervisor, reporting details of his employment to the GMC and a requirement to get approval from the GMC before starting work in a non-NHS post or setting. It appears that a GMC review is ongoing.
Is the recall of patients unprecedented?
Sadly not. Although unusual, if serious concerns have been raised about an individual’s practices, healthcare providers are under an obligation (in line with their duty of candour) to inform patients. In our capacity as medical negligence solicitors we have unfortunately come across this a number of times before, and represented individuals who have suffered at the hands of ‘rogue surgeons’.
Worryingly, we have experience of successfully bringing a number of claims against another orthopaedic shoulder surgeon – Mr Simon Lambert (which you can read about here and here). As in Mr Shah’s case, there was a delay in this coming to light and, despite a high number of complaints, Mr Lambert continues to practice. It is very disappointing to see that another individual has been able to continue to operate – seemingly unchecked – for so long, despite a high volume of concerns.
What to do if you have been treated by Mr Shah?
We appreciate that it must be very concerning to hear of these allegations, particularly if you feel that your quality of life has deteriorated since the surgery – and very difficult to now hear that it may have been avoidable.
If you have been operated on by Mr Shah and have concerns about the outcome, there are steps you can take.
If you have not been contacted by either Walsall Manor Hospital or Spire Little Aston about this, it may be sensible to contact them directly. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has set up a telephone line in relation to Mr Shah’s treatment – 01922 604631 and they can also be contacted via email: email@example.com.
In addition to seeking information from your treating hospital, it is also vital that anyone affected seeks independent legal advice, rather than solely relying on reassurances from the hospital. You should also therefore consult a specialist medical negligence solicitor about your rights.
Bolt Burdon Kemp has already acted for a number patients who have suffered as a result of a ‘rogue’ or incompetent surgeon – including those involving complex shoulder procedures (as above). More generally, as a firm, we are leading medical negligence solicitors with over 35 years’ experience in acting for people who have been injured due to substandard treatment.
A medical negligence claim will provide patients with a formal legal investigation into what has happened, with evidence from independent medical experts. It will seek to compensate the patients for their past and future pain, suffering and financial losses. It will allow patients peace of mind and funds for them to get the care and treatment they need to move forward with their lives.
We are offering free legal advice to any patient who is concerned about their treatment.