Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Prosthetic gaffe leaves man with two left feet

A false limbs expert who fitted an artificial left foot to an amputee's right leg has been formally struck off the register after he admitted a string of allegations.

Prosthetist Malcolm Griffiths failed to spot the blunder during two further check-ups with patient Patrick Morrison (76) from West Lothian.

A disciplinary hearing of the Health Professions Council was told Mr Griffiths was prepared to admit all 16 charges against him, including the allegations surrounding Mr Morrison's care.

The charges related to the treatment of 11 patients over a three-year period during Mr Griffiths' time at Edinburgh's Astley Ainslie Hospital.

The regulatory body's Conduct and Competence Committee, sitting in Edinburgh, agreed to Mr Griffiths’ own request to have his name removed from the professional register.

Issuing the decision yesterday, committee chairman Colin Allies said: “The panel is satisfied that it is appropriate and proportionate to make the consent order as requested.”

Mr Griffiths, who was not present at the hearing, was sacked by NHS Lothian in 2008. The charges related to Mr Griffiths' employment at the Smart Centre, a mobility and rehabilitation clinic based at the hospital, between August 2005 and August 2008.

One of the most serious charges admitted was an allegation that he fitted Mr Morrison, known as “patient A”, with an artificial left foot when he should have been given a replacement right foot.

It was also agreed that on two occasions, between November 2006 and June 2007, Mr Griffiths failed to notice he had fitted the wrong foot and failed to provide adequate prosthetic care.

He also admitted a complaint that he caused “unnecessary delay and pain” to another patient by failing to complete work “within a reasonable time frame”.

He admitted 14 other charges, including failing to maintain adequate patient notes, missing deadlines and persistently losing work while under “competency supervision” before losing his job.

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