Consultant Spinal Surgeon, Mr John Bradley Williamson was employed at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (now part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust) between 1991 and January 2015, when he was dismissed. During his time at the Trust, he was the Head of Division for Neurosciences & Renal Medicine. It is also understood that during this time he also worked at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (now managed by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (“MFT”)) and held practising privileges at Spire Manchester Hospital, a private healthcare provider.

In August 2014, an anonymous whistleblower contacted the then Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with concerns about Mr Williamson’s behaviour, conduct, integrity and capability.

In 2021, a support group was established under the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up process, which raised new questions and concerns around the integrity and clinical standards of Mr Williamson.

In January 2022, the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust commissioned the Spinal Patient Safety Look Back Review (“SPSLBR”) and Investigation Group to evaluate concerns about Mr Williamson.

What did the Salford Royal Infirmary Spinal Surgery Review Find?

The report which was published in June 2023 and can be found here. Of the 130 patients identified by the SPSLBR, there were 72 patients whose cases should be recalled for a review, while 32 required no further action. Of the remaining 26 cases, 16 people who should have been recalled had died.

The report found a number of issues including:

  • There was a lack of informed consent by patients prior to surgery being performed. The risks documented on the consent form and associated documentation did not reflect those of the proposed surgery.
  • Substandard surgery was performed (this included issues with screw placement and screws being misplaced, incorrectly applied surgical practices, poorly planned surgery and patients suffered higher than expected blood loss).
  • Failure to recognise and/or investigate or act on post operative complications in a timely way, if at all.

Who Has Been Affected?

  • Patients Who Were Treated at Salford Royal Hospital

In all cases at Salford Royal Hospital where it was identified that severe or moderate harm was caused by Mr Williamson’s conduct, patients have been contacted.

  • Patients Who Were Treated at Manchester Children’s Hospital or Spire Manchester

The investigation findings are extremely concerning, and we consider that this review should have been extended to patients who were treated by Mr Williamson, at sites including Manchester Children’s Hospital and Spire Manchester.

If you have concerns about care you have received from Mr Williamson or you have been contacted as part of the review process, please contact a member of our medical negligence team for a free, no obligation chat, on 0113 284 5000 or

Share this...