A hospital has issued an apology after a diabetic man who suffered a burnt toe was ordered to undergo amputation of his left leg with a misdiagnosis of gangrene. Derek Atkinson, 56, from Newton Aycliffe, revealed that he had sought the opinion of a consultant at Bishop Auckland General Hospital.
In November 2001, he burnt his toe from a hot water bottle and since the symptoms seemed very much like the previous wounds he had, he decided to seek a consultation. Mr Atkinson's GP diagnosed the condition as gangrene and he underwent amputation of his left leg from below knee.
The independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman severely criticized the hospital for this treatment. A spokesman for the County Durham and Darlington Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, confirmed that they had written to Atkinson to apologize.