I think someone else answered this in another topic. I'll just give my 2c here.....
1) Someone told me a few years ago that "anyone can get round a patent".... His comment haunts me, what do you think he meant? Is he right?
No. He's wrong. Though, how hard it is depends on a lot of things. Think of a wall to keep intruders out. Can anyone get around a wall? Maybe -- depends on the wall.
First, let's define "get around a patent". I suspect that means compete in the marketplace without infringing the patent. That can depend on the invention and on the practitioner's skill in capturing the invention as well as feasible alternatives. I'll sometimes see an invention disclosure and immediately recognize that there are viable alternatives in the marketplace and explain that to the client. When drafting and prosecuting an application, I do my best (and enlist the client's help) to recognize and protect all foreseeable feasible alternatives that competitors might try.
In short, quality matters.
2) My patent was filed in the UK which I understand would give me an option to file in the USA if I want to take the option up in 12 months time but my attorney said although we have priority in the US because of our UK application it would still be better to file in the US as well.
Why would this be nessecary if I have the option in 12 months in any case?
( I did ask my attorney this question but he speaks in riddles and is an impatient type)
You have 12 months from your UK filing to file in the US and have your US patent application treated as if it were filed on the same day as your UK filing. You can go UK->PCT->US if the PCT is within 12 months and the US is within 18 more months (30 total from UK).
If you want patent protection in the US, you have to file in the US. If you don't meet those deadlines, your US application won't have the "priority" of the earlier filing date(s).
3) Is it impractical to change patent attornies when it comes to going for an application for a few other countries in 12 months time?
You can't use a UK attorney here in the US (unless they're also registered with the USPTO). You can't use a US attorney to file in the UK. You will always (nearly always) need a different attorney for each country/region in which you want patent protection. Usually, your original attorney will coordinate with all the others.