Woman's leg amputated 'after faulty diagnosis'

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A 20-YEAR-OLD physical education student had her leg amputated after doctors wrongly diagnosed that she had a malignant bone tumour, it was claimed last night.

Surgeons cut away Vicki Hunter's right knee and most of the lower leg before doctors told her it had all been a mistake, it was alleged.

Her lawyers issued a statement saying she was 'devastated' when doctors told her she had a tumour in November 1992. The original diagnosis was made at a hospital in Leeds, where she was attending a physical education college. Shortly afterwards, her treatment was transferred to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, where the diagnosis was confirmed.

The lawyers said Ms Hunter was told four days ago, at an outpatient appointment, that most, if not all, of her treatment had been unnecessary.

Patients claiming to be victims of the Birmingham cancer scandal will not be entitled to automatic compensation, the health authority made clear tonight. It promised to treat every case sympathetically, but insisted that claims must be legally proven.