St Austell girl could face total hip replacement after X-ray failure

Mon 5th Jun 2017

A 15-year-old girl from St Austell, Cornwall, is facing the prospect of a total hip replacement after a radiographer allegedly failed to carry out a full X-ray at Treliske three years ago. Jodie Tamblin, who was 12 at the time of the X-ray, waited for two years for a correct diagnosis. The Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust has now said that it is too late for corrective surgery.

A serious incident report from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust states that the X-ray was carried out by an agency radiographer, rather than a member of staff. In the report, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust says its protocol is to take two X-rays of each hip, but on this occasion only one was carried out. According to the report, this meant the radiographer did not detect the abnormality in Jodie’s hip, which required urgent surgery.

In its report, the hospital acknowledges that “there is a risk of clinical ‘disconnect'” when bringing in agency staff who are unfamiliar with protocols. This story has emerged following reports of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trusts’ growing expenditure on temporary staff.

Jodie, who attends Penrice Academy, has suffered from a condition in her left hip, called Perthes, since she was six years old. Perthes disease is a childhood disorder which affects the head of the femur – the ball of the ball and socket joint of the hip.

The family is now being advised by the Clinical Negligence team at South West law firm Coodes Solicitors, who are investigating the case.

Jodie’s mother, Miss Fiona James said: “Jodie has had to wait for two years to get the diagnosis that she should have had right after her X-ray. We are upset and angry that she may now have to have a full hip replacement because of such a simple mistake.

“While our priority now is to get th best care for Jodie, for the sake of other families we hope that lessons have now been learned and protocols are now being properly followed. If the correct X-ray had been carried out, Jodie could have been better by now. Instead, she has had two more years of being in pain and may be facing major surgery.”

Rachel Pearce, Partner and Clinical Negligence lawyer at Coodes Solicitors said: “Jodie’s case is a one of extreme concern. The Serious Incident Report suggests that the problem was partly the result of the X-ray being carried out by an agency radiographer. With reports that Treliske is relying increasingly on agency and locum doctors, we are naturally concerned that more issues like this will emerge.”

Mon 5th Jun 2017

Related Services & sectors

Get in touch

Call us on 0800 328 3282, or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Search News & Events



Changes to Paternity Leave in April 2024: What do you need to know?

As of 6th April 2024, paternity leave will be changing to reflect a shifting attitude…

Read more


Suspecting a Power of Attorney of financial abuse: what can you do?

What steps should you take if you suspect someone is committing financial abuse as a…

Read more

Portfolio Builder

Select the legal expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

    Download    Add to portfolio   

    Remove All


    Click here to share this shortlist.
    (It will expire after 30 days.)