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Oral and maxillo-facial services review

STATEMENT - 10 January 2019 

Andrew Furlong, Medical Director at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “Over the last two years we have been looking at the care provided to patients needing reconstructive surgery after a diagnosis of head and neck cancer, prior to November 2016.  It is with deep regret that we have found a number of patients have not had the outcome they should have had following their surgery; in our report we refer to this as ‘harm’.”

“By ‘harm’ we mean that there are some patients who could have had better functional outcomes in terms of eating and drinking with less side-effects and improved cosmetic results if they had been offered an alternative operation technique to the one carried out.  This type of surgery to reconstruct parts of the head and neck following cancer is very difficult, complex and sometimes discernible; nonetheless, these patients could have had better outcomes from their surgery and we are truly sorry that this was not the case.”

“We have contacted all living patients treated within our Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgery (OFMS) service between January 2009 and November 2016 offering to meet with them to discuss their care and any concerns.”

“I am incredibly disappointed that these reviews have uncovered substandard care within our hospitals; our patients deserved better.  We have done a lot of work over the last two years with the Royal College of Surgeons, an independent team of reviewers, our partners at NHS England, NHS Improvement and the Clinical Commissioning Groups, our staff and with the patients and families that we have met with to understand what happened and how we can ensure that we learn from this experience and put in place changes that will mean it cannot happen again.”