Nigel Poole QC (England) has drawn attention to a recent first instance decision of the England & Wales High Court: Mills v Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust [2019] EWHC 936 (QB).

The defendant NHS Trust make an admission that “in advising the patient of the surgical debulking option, Mr Plaha provided advice regarding the surgical approach, intended benefits and risks that were associated with a minimally invasive endoscopically assisted open craniotomy technique and did not discuss the alternative approach of a microscopically assisted open craniotomy technique and the intended benefits and risks that were associated with this alternative approach to visualising the operative field” 

However there remained the question as to what advice and information Mr Plaha should have provided about the differences between the endoscopically-assisted technique compared to the microscopically-assisted technique.

In relation to breach of duty,  the court held at [199]:

It is clear (and accepted by the Trust) that Mr Plaha breached his duty of care by (a) not offering microscopically-assisted resection as an alternative option and (b) not explaining the comparative risks and benefits of these alternative surgical techniques.