The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches is acting for a number of clients who have been affected by substandard medical care provided by Jayne Cockburn, who practised as a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey and Paul Miller, consultant urologist, formerly of East Surrey Hospital.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the clinical negligence team, comments: “We have already settled a number of claims against Frimley Park Hospital for surgical management provided by Miss Jayne Cockburn but many more of her patients have contacted us since the hospital wrote to them to advise of an internal investigation to seek advice about their concerns about their own care.
“The care in question goes back over a number of years and, in most cases, relates to care provided before 2011. There are clear indications that patients were encouraged to undergo surgical procedures that were not necessary and/or were not the most appropriate management; patients were not giving fully informed consent to the actual procedure performed on them; and damage was caused to patients during surgery. Many of our clients have been left with very significant ongoing problems as a result of the surgery undertaken by Miss Cockburn.”
In relation to Dr Miller, 1,000 patients in Surrey were recently notified that their consultant urologist, Paul Miller, had been sacked by the East Surrey Hospital. Concerns were first raised towards the end of 2013 that Dr Miller was failing to follow established treatment practices for prostate cancer. Subsequent investigations have confirmed that Dr Miller's practice was unacceptable and has caused significant harm to some patients. Up to 1,200 patients may have been affected.
Dr Miller is currently banned from practice, pending the outcome of a General Medical Council (GMC) investigation. The hospital has set up a helpline for patients worried about their care. Andrew Clayton, clinical negligence lawyer in the Penningtons Manches team, says: "We are already investigating Dr Miller's care in relation to prostate cancer treatment and are aware of 27 patients who have already been notified that this was substandard and has potentially caused them significant harm. We are already instructed to deal with claims against the hospital involving his care and are talking to a number of other former patients about their concerns.”
Philippa Luscombe concludes: “Unfortunately, in both cases it appears that there have been problems with medical care provided over a period of time. In many cases, patients are only now being made aware of potential issues with the care that they received. While hospitals obviously need to carry out thorough investigations, these concerns should have been raised and/or acted upon earlier and, had that happened, far fewer patients would have suffered injury. Almost all our clients have suffered life-changing injuries of some kind as a result of what appear to be failings in their care and we would hope that lessons can be learned so that problems can be dealt with more quickly.”
Anyone with concerns about their care under Miss Cockburn and/or Dr Miller and who may be considering making a claim or simply seeking advice on their options at this stage can contact our team on 0800 328 9545 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer initial advice free of charge and without obligation.