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Source: Hassocks man taking legal action over ‘mix match’ hip replacement – Mid Sussex Times.

Hassocks man taking legal action over ‘mix match’ hip replacement

by Oli Gross   oli.gross@jpress.co.uk

Published on the 21 November 2014

A Hassocks man had to stop working due to the pain caused by a ‘mix-match’ hip replacement.

Laurence Tilley is one of hundreds of patients taking legal action following their operations.

Lawyers acting for Mr Tilley have urged that the regulatory system which governs the hip replacements is reviewed, after it was revealed that a warning about such practices should have been issued to healthcare providers up to two years before his surgery.

Mr Tilley was fitted with a ‘mix-match’ hip replacement device in 2009 by Sussex Orthopaedic NHS Treatment Centre in Haywards Heath.

The 59-year-old from Hassocks said: “I was working as the director of a marketing company at the time of the operation, but had to give that up in 2010 as the pain I was suffering meant it was incredibly difficult for me to be mobile and ultimately get into the office in London.

“Since then I’ve tried to get new ventures up and running to limited success. The issues I’ve suffered have caused more than physical pain, but psychological and emotional stress too.”

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Product Liability team are taking legal action against private and NHS hospitals on behalf of a number of people who suffered complications with hip devices found to be built by surgeons from components produced by different manufacturers. Such practices render the regulatory approval given to the original devices from which the components void, meaning the new ‘mix-match’ device has not been subject to the required testing prior to use.

Mr Tilley continued: “I’m appalled to think that all of this has happened after I was fitted with a hip device which isn’t even regulated – and that the issue was raised before mine was fitted.

“I want to know how this has been allowed to happen and what is being done to stop others facing the same difficulties I have.”

Staff within the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) suggested issuing guidance to healthcare providers advising that the use of such off-label, mix-match devices was unacceptable as far back as 2007, yet Irwin Mitchell is representing some clients who were fitted with such devices in 2008 and 2009.

An MHRA spokesperson said: “The majority of patients who receive hip implants have well-functioning hips and are at a low risk of developing any serious problems.

“The MHRA was the first regulatory agency in the world to issue advice to clinicians about the management of patients with metal-on-metal hip implants in April 2010.

“This advice was formulated in close collaboration with the British Hip Society and the British Orthopaedic Association, and we have continued to refine it in consultation with clinical experts.

“The MHRA is continuing to monitor the performance of all hip implants through the National Joint Registry and if patients have any questions, they should speak to their orthopaedic surgeon or doctor.”

But Irwin Mitchell, which represents hundreds of patients affected by problems with metal-on-metal hip implants and other defective medical devices, have joined forces with patients to call for action to be taken to determine why procedures continued after 2007 and whether the current regulatory framework is sufficient to protect patients from further harm.

Kevin Timms, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell representing the patients said: “The cases have only come to light after patients have contacted us for help regarding problems with their implants.”

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