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Deep brain stimulation surgery is suspended at Birmingham trust over poor clinical results

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 01 December 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2905
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) for movement disorders has been suspended indefinitely by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust after an independent review of 22 procedures found poor clinical results, with most patients deriving little or no benefit.

The trust commissioned the review from consultant neurosurgeons at King’s College Hospital, London, after a serious incident investigation of a patient who underwent DBS for Parkinson’s disease. The external panel looked at all 22 DBS procedures performed on 21 patients for movement disorders from January 2017 to 1 October 2019. The trust said that a further 130 patients also had or were having their cases reviewed.

The independent review found “unacceptable delays” in responding to patients’ concerns, poor team working, and a “neurosurgeon whose technique was poor and failed to change in the light of suboptimal results.” The review panel recommended that DBS for movement disorder should remain suspended indefinitely “until all its conditions for safe opening have been met, and …

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