Parents set to sue GP practice in Barnsley over vaccines stored in faulty fridge

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A Barnsley medical centre could face hundreds of legal claims over vaccines stored in a faulty fridge.

Over 500 children have to be re-vaccinated because vaccines were stored in a faulty fridge at Brierley Medical Centre for five years, compromising the effectiveness of the medication.

Children who were vaccinated against a number of diseases and infections, including meningitis, measles, mumps, polio and rubella, between January 2009 and June 2014 are being contacted to arrange new jabs at the surgery.

Some of their parents and carers have contacted a South Yorkshire law firm to discus suing the practice.

NHS England said a total of 515 children are affected, but only 351 are still registered at the surgery.

Those no longer registered at Brierley Medical Centre will receive a letter from their new practice informing them.

Andrew Harrison, a specialist in medical negligence claims with Raleys Solicitors, said: “Despite reassurances from the authorities that the children have not been harmed by the vaccinations that they did receive, parents are obviously and rightly concerned.

“The unfortunate fact is that these children now all face having to go through the painful process again – and they know what to expect .”

He said that parents want to hold the practice to account.

“After the first call we thought it was a one-off, but within the next 24 hours we were contacted by a number of parents, and they themselves are speaking to other affected parents about making their own claims,” he added.

“Each child faces the ordeal of going through the pain and suffering of the vaccination again.

“We all know that vaccinations are unpleasant to receive at the best of times, but now, some children who were vaccinated as recently as less than a year ago face going through the whole thing again, knowing that it will hurt or make them feel unwell.

“It is obviously very distressing for them and is something which has left their parents feeling upset and angry.

“No-one ever wants to have to see their child go through unnecessary suffering, and the affected parents we have spoken to want to bring a legal case to help ensure this type of mistake does not happen again.”

“What we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. NHS England has stated that a total of 515 children are affected, which suggests a potentially huge number of cases could soon be brought against those responsible for the error.

“After the number of cases we have already been contacted about, we anticipate more and more parents will be seeking advice in the coming days and weeks.