Parents sue for pounds 20m

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The Independent Online
THE HOSPITAL at the centre of the Bristol heart surgery scandal could face compensation claims for up to pounds 20m after the General Medical Council struck off two of its senior doctors last week, writes Jeremy Laurance.

Writs on behalf of the parents of 20 children who died at Bristol Royal Infirmary have been issued and a further 10 involving children who were brain damaged or suffered other serious injuries are under preparation, lawyers said.

All the cases relate to patients operated on by James Wisheart and Janardan Dhasmana, who were found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the GMC after they disregarded warnings that their death rates were unacceptably high.

Frank Dobson, the Health Secretary, announced a public inquiry into the affair.

The GMC's finding that the surgeons continued to operate beyond the point where they should have stopped, and that they misled some patients about the risks, will strengthen the case of parents who are considering suing the trust.