Scandinavian Doctors "Botched" UK Operations

Several Swedish surgeons working in the UK are being accused of botching a number of knee operations leaving dozens of elderly people in pain and needing further surgery.

The Swedes along with surgeons from Denmark and Finland, dubbed the "Flying doctors," were brought into the UK to reduce NHS waiting times for orthopaedic operations.

However an audit of 224 patients undergoing knee surgery between 2004 and 2006 and published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, found that one in three suffered a poor outcome and one in five cases were so bad that another operation was needed.

The Scandinavian doctors who'd been contracted from Scanloc, a private company in Sussex, were working at a centre in Somerset and the newspaper reports that lawyers are now considering cases involving at least six patients. The centre in Weston Super Mare no longer employs Scandinavian doctors.

Under an EU directive passed in 2004, doctors can work in any member state and under the current rules, a health authority is unable to demand information from its counterparts abroad showing whether a doctor has been previously disciplined or struck off in another country. An ammendment making it mandatory for countries to share information will be put to the European parliament month.