The Healthcare Commission has secured the conviction of Orthopaedic and Spine Specialty Clinic Ltd, a company which runs an orthopaedic hospital in Peterborough, and Mr Ahmed Shair, an orthopaedic surgeon and sole director of the company which owns the hospital.
On Wednesday 9 July at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court in Cambridgeshire, the company was fined under the Care Standards Act 2000 for breaching the conditions of its registration as a healthcare provider.
Mr Ahmed Shair, a director of the company, was also fined on the basis that the breaches of the conditions of registration were committed with his consent or connivance, or attributable to his neglect.
The company’s hospital – the Orthopaedic and Spine Specialist Hospital in Bretton, Peterborough – provides treatment for people with orthopaedic and spinal conditions.
Under its conditions of registration, the hospital is required to have an in-patient physiotherapy service provided by a suitably qualified, skilled and experienced physiotherapist for all those patients who properly require post-operative physiotherapy. It is also a condition of the hospital’s registration that no patients under the age of 18 be admitted or consulted in the outpatient department. Mr Shair and the company Orthopaedics and Spine Specialty Clinic Ltd were found guilty of breaching both of these conditions.
The magistrates convicted Orthopaedic and Spine Specialty Clinic Ltd and imposed a fine of £5000 and ordered it pay £10,000 towards the Commission’s costs.
The magistrates also sentenced Mr Ahmed Shair to a conditional discharge of 18 months and ordered him pay £5000 towards the Commission’s costs.
The magistrates considered the financial status of both Mr Shair and the company and ordered the payment of the costs and fines to be paid within 14 days.
In October 2006, information was received about the Orthopaedic and Spine Specialist Hospital which alerted the Healthcare Commission to breaches of the conditions of its registration.
Nigel Ellis, Head of Investigations at the Healthcare Commission, said: “As a regulator, our number one priority is the protection and safety of patients. That’s why the Government requires those carrying out certain procedures to be registered with us, and to meet the requirements of their registration. Those establishments wishing to treat children or persons under the age of 18 must demonstrate that they have the infrastructure in place to meet the specific needs of those patients. It is also important that people undergoing orthopaedic surgery receive the right level of physiotherapy support. That is why when conditions were breached the Healthcare Commission took action against this hospital on behalf of the safety and welfare of patients.
“Patients have a responsibility for their own safety too. We publish reports following the inspections and assurance assessments we carry out on registered providers. The public can make use of these reports to inform their choices. All reports are published on our website.”