This website is intended for healthcare professionals only.

Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Healthcare Europe

Apology over unnecessary operation

13 August, 2008  

A health board has apologised to a firefighter who had surgery to remove a lung after being misdiagnosed with cancer.

Laurence Ball, 58, was told he had a tumour in his lung and needed an operation to remove the organ. Surgery took place in August 2005 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where doctors removed the whole lung.

However, soon after the operation, doctors told Mr Ball that he would not need chemotherapy – as he never had cancer in the first place.

A lawyer took his case to NHS Grampian but after an investigation health chiefs concluded there was no one individual guilty of incompetence or negligence. Mr Ball claims that the health board had offered him no explanation or apology and is now preparing a court action.

Health chiefs later issued an apology to Mr Ball and offered him a face-to-face meeting to look at the circumstances surrounding the case.

A spokeswoman said that the surgery went ahead following a review of all the relevant information and was considered to be the appropriate course of action based on that information.

“NHS Grampian deeply regrets that, with hindsight, the procedure that Mr Ball underwent may not have been necessary,” she added.

Copyright PA Business 2008

NHS Grampian