Boxer misses chance of fighting for gold due to botched knee surgery at ‘inadequate’ hospital


A boxer who won a silver medal for Great Britain in the European Championships says her dream of bringing home a gold was shattered after botched knee surgery at a failing Manchester hospital.

Stacey Copeland, of Hyde, suffered a second degree burn to her thigh while undergoing routine knee surgery at Oaklands hospital on 2 April 2016 which was recently rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission. Stacey was under the care of Tameside Hospital after injuring her knee during training but the operation was outsourced by the NHS to Oaklands. 

As well as burning her leg, staff failed to refer her to a burns unit and she was discharged without any aftercare in place and she says was repeatedly fobbed off by hospital staff. After she returned on 8 April to demand answers and get help in caring for the wound so that it would heal in time for her to start training she says a dismissive doctor told it was ‘just a graze’ and would heal in a week. 

Stacey was in so much pain and was so concerned about the injury as she could barely walk that she referred herself to the burns unit at Wythenshawe Hospital. A specialist confirmed she had suffered a second degree burn which was probably caused by chemicals.  

The burn became infected, took three months to heal and prevented Stacey from training for 10 months and entering the 2016 European Championships after she won silver in 2014. This was completely devastating for her as aged 35 it is highly unlikely that she will ever have the chance to represent England in a major tournament again and her dream of winning gold has ended. She has also been left with significant scarring which, although does not now stop her from training, requires special care in terms of clothing and avoiding swimming, ice baths and exposure to the sun.  Stacey has now decided to turn professional as an alternative way of ending her career in the sport she loves. 

Specialist solicitors at law firm JMW are now acting for Stacey to help her find out what went wrong and why, ensure lessons are learned and hold the hospital to account. JMW has written to Ramsay Healthcare, which operates Oaklands, to set out the allegations of poor care. 

Stacey said: “Not being able to compete in the European Championships and fight for a gold medal was the worst possible outcome from this surgery yet it happened. These championships only take place every two years for women and that was my last chance due to my age. To have your dreams ended at the hands of someone else is crushing and has such a huge emotional impact. I don’t think I can ever forgive what was taken away from me, especially given the way I was treated.”

Katie Nolan, Stacey’s solicitor at JMW, commented: “It is extremely concerning that Stacey suffered such a severe injury during surgery. The impact has been devastating for her and she needs assurances that lessons have been learned and the risk of this happening again has been minimised. The CQC recently released a critical report on Oaklands and I hope that this, as well as patients like Stacey who challenge poor care, will result in improvements to patient safety.”


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kelly Hindle

0161 828 1868

07921 388 584 
Samantha Meakin

0161 828 1981

07595 277 842

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer,Eddie Jones.


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