Patient speaks out regarding allegations of misconduct at Spire Bristol Hospital

3 minute read

 “The invasive procedure that Mr. Dixon performed on me will have lifelong negative consequences.” says ex-patient who received surgery at Spire Hospital Bristol

A former patient of the discredited surgeon, Anthony Dixon, has sought the legal advice of our specialist medical negligence team in response to the allegations of misconduct.

The patient was treated by Mr. Dixon in 2014 for what she thought was going to be haemorrhoidectomy, however what Mr Dixon performed was a Stapled Transanal Rectal Resection (STARR operation). The patient only found out in 2021 when pregnant with her first child that – due to the STARR procedure – she could not give birth naturally. The surgery itself caused debilitating symptoms for a period afterwards and failed to treat the problem she attended for which is now even worse.

The Spire Hospital in Bristol commenced a patient notification procedure in July 2018 looking into Mr Dixon’s Laparoscopic Ventral Mesh Rectopexy (LVMR) surgery. Mr Dixon was subsequently dismissed by North Bristol NHS Trust in 2019.

North Bristol NHS Trust’s review, published in May 2022, concluded more than 200 patients underwent mesh bowel operations in Bristol that they might not have needed and were harmed in the process.

In September 2023 Spire Bristol Hospital contacted patients who underwent a Stapled Transanal Rectal Resection (STARR operation) with Mr Dixon and this patient is still waiting to be contacted.

When asked about the ongoing case the patient, who would like to remain anonymous, said: “Both my physical and mental health have suffered after surgery and being unaware of what happened to me has led to further trauma.”
“Questions regarding STARR and patient consent under Mr. Dixon have been reported in the news from 2017. STARR patients should have been investigated at this time and in my opinion, Spire has done nothing for patients impacted by this surgery. I contacted Spire myself in 2021 to ask if I was part of a review and I was told no. However, following continued media coverage Spire has now been forced to recall STARR patients years later. I have yet to be contacted for this recall and I hold little faith that I will be.”

The patient of Mr Dixon got in touch with Partner Gillian Clark and her specialist team at Enable Law in 2022, after allegations emerged.

We spoke to Gillian Clark, who commented: ” The allegations against Mr Dixon have shaken the medical community and raised concerns among so many of his former patients.

“One of the biggest concerns is that Mr Dixon was operating on people without their consent, they were therefore not told what risks were involved and this was often very invasive surgery that perhaps wasn’t even needed in the first place but has lifelong consequences in terms of outcomes including severe pain and incontinence.

“It is an important step in the right direction to expand the investigation to include the STARR procedure as we know from our clients that issues relating to clinical necessity, consent, and adequacy of treatment are of concern to his patients who had the STARR procedure but that those issues have so far only been highlighted in relation to his LVMR practice.

“It was reported that in 2017 more than 100 of the women who underwent the LVMR procedure were suing Mr Dixon for medical negligence but now that investigations are widening to review the STARR procedure that Mr Dixon also claimed to specialise in, I think that number could grow significantly.

“Medical negligence on this scale is harrowing and does not happen that often, but when it does it has significant consequences for the individuals and families involved. These consequences will likely be long-term and need future care, therapies and support which are all costly to the patient which is why we have been representing clients to safeguard their future.”

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