Northern Care Alliance releases independent report into previous management of concerns regarding a Consultant Spinal Surgeon

7 March 2024

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA) has today published an independent report by Barrister Mr Carlo Breen into the Trust’s historic management of concerns in relation to a Consultant Spinal Surgeon.

An executive summary, full report and the Trust’s response to Mr Breen’s review can be found here.

The investigation found that certain patients, relatives and colleagues had been significantly let down. The Trust fully accepts the findings and apologises for any distress or harm caused by the issues identified within the report.

In response to a significant Freedom to Speak Up concern, NCA Chief Executive Dr Owen Williams commissioned Mr Breen in March 2022 to investigate how historic concerns and complaints dating back to 2007 relating to this consultant’s conduct, probity and capability had been previously handled and what lessons could be learned.

Mr Breen’s review is the second review commissioned by the Trust relating to these important matters. The first report detailed the findings of the “Spinal Patient Safety Look Back Review” and was published last year.

Dr Williams said: “I am deeply sorry and apologise to the patients and their families for the care which is described in both Mr Breen’s report released today and the patient look back review from last year.

“I also apologise to my NCA colleagues who have had to work too hard to get their concerns heard and thoroughly investigated. I am thankful that they persisted. We will do right by them and our patients by continuing to put into practice what we have learned”.

Current and former patients at Salford Royal’s spinal unit should be assured that the NCA has been in touch with anyone whose care or treatment needed to be looked at as part of the Spinal Patient Safety Look Back Review. Any patient who still has concerns should of course come forward at any time for advice by speaking to their clinician or contacting the NCA’s Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS).

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