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Dozens of patients sue the NHS over claims they suffered brain damage after having therapy

Dozens of patients sue the NHS over claims they suffered brain damage after having depression treatment of electrical currents through the head

  • Patients claim they suffered brain damage from NHS electroconvulsive therapy
  • They say they were never told therapy could result in permanent memory loss 
  • Ministers were being urged to ban procedure over lack of evidence that it works

Dozens of patients who underwent a highly controversial form of treatment for depression, which involves passing electrical currents through the head, are suing the NHS, claiming they suffered brain damage.

They say they were never informed that electroconvulsive therapy could result in permanent memory loss and facial recognition problems, as well as trouble with basic everyday tasks like walking and reading.

It comes after The Mail on Sunday last week told how Ministers were being urged to ban the procedure, because of a lack of evidence ECT works – and mounting evidence that it can cause harm.

Dozens of patients who underwent a highly controversial form of treatment for depression, which involves passing electrical currents through the head, are suing the NHS, claiming they suffered brain damage. The type of therapy is depicted above

Now we can reveal that those who believe they were harmed by the procedure – portrayed in the 1975 film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson –are launching a joint legal action to sue the NHS for damages.

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Jane Williams, of law firm Freeths, who is representing the former patients, said they were ‘suffering from cognitive impairment and memory loss but were not made aware of potential side-effects prior to treatment’.

She said their key legal concern was ‘the failure [of the NHS] to obtain informed consent’ – because health staff had not given patients a proper assessment of the ‘material risks’.

Care home manager Andy Luff, 51, who claims ECT left him periodically unable to recognise his family or even speak, said he ‘wasn’t given any warning about brain damage’ and that concerns that he ‘didn’t feel right’ after the sessions were dismissed.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it could not comment on potential legal proceedings.

It comes after The Mail on Sunday last week told how Ministers were being urged to ban the procedure, because of a lack of evidence ECT works – and mounting evidence that it can cause harm [File photo]

It comes after The Mail on Sunday last week told how Ministers were being urged to ban the procedure, because of a lack of evidence ECT works – and mounting evidence that it can cause harm [File photo]

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