We have recently settled yet another claim against Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust for a client who received negligent treatment from consultant gynaecologist, Miss Jayne Cockburn.
Our client was left with urinary incontinence problems after having her first child and was referred to Miss Cockburn at Frimley Park Hospital in 2006. At the time, our client was only 24 years old but, on the advice of Miss Cockburn, she underwent the fitting of a transvaginal tape (TVT).
Shortly after this, she began to experience severe irritation and itching, which persisted despite treatment with local anaesthetic. In March 2007, she was led to believe that she would have an operation to remove the TVT completely, but in fact Miss Cockburn incised the tape in the middle and only the left hand side was removed.
Three months later, after our client continued to experience irritation, a full tape removal was performed and, at the same time, Miss Cockburn inserted a Burch colposuspension to lift the bladder neck.
Following this operation, our client began to experience problems of severe pelvic pain and painful sexual intercourse. She was told by Miss Cockburn that she was a difficult patient and was referred to Southampton hospital, where she proceeded to undergo a cystoscopy and an eventual operation to reverse and take down the colposuspension in April 2008.
During her second pregnancy, our client was informed that she would need to have a caesarean section because of the amount of surgery she had undergone previously. She continued to experience pain and problems with sexual intercourse, which had an impact on her relationship. The traumatic experience of the countless surgeries also had a damaging psychological effect on top of her physical injuries.
In 2014, our client received a letter from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust inviting her to discuss the care that she had received as part of an internal investigation into the care provided by Miss Cockburn. At this stage, our client became aware that her care had been substandard and instructed us to investigate the claim.
After our investigations, the trust admitted that there had been failures by Miss Cockburn to advise our client of the risks associated with the TVT operation, to offer her conservative treatment and to advise on the implications of undergoing surgery for stress incontinence when she had not yet completed her family. Furthermore, it was admitted that Miss Cockburn had negligently and incorrectly divided the tape during the first revision surgery and did not offer conservative management prior to inserting a Burch colposuspension, a further procedure that our client was not advised about the risks of.
As a result of these failings, our client has been left with both physical and psychological injuries. She will require treatment by way of pain management for her ongoing pelvic and abdominal pain; she is likely to require treatment for her continuing urinary symptoms and treatment for the significant psychological impact the traumatic experience has had on her. At a very young age, she underwent numerous surgical operations which she neither required nor properly consented to.
This case is one of a number of claims against Miss Cockburn managed by Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team in respect of gynaecological care she provided at Frimley Park Hospital, where she practised until 2011.