The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches has now been instructed by more than 20 women who have been affected by substandard medical care provided by Jayne Cockburn, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who practised at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey until 2011.
As the lead firm of solicitors involved in claims for damages against Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Penningtons Manches is liaising with the trust and its legal team to agree a framework for dealing with these cases. The firm’s clinical negligence team is also considering group action against the trust and continues to accept new instructions from former patients of Miss Cockburn who think they may have been affected.
Miss Cockburn officially resigned from the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in December 2014 after it emerged that a number of her former patients had been recalled for review in July 2014 following a look-back exercise carried out by the trust.
In July 2014, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust announced that it had undertaken an internal review of Miss Cockburn’s urogynecological practices. The hospital then wrote to 101 of the patients who had been treated by Miss Cockburn offering them the opportunity to see another gynaecologist and to have their care reviewed. It is reported that nearly half of the patients who were contacted were found to have later suffered “potentially significant issues”.
Elise Bevan, a solicitor in Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team, who is handling these claims said: “Since the trust’s review last year, a number of women have come forward and instructed us to investigate claims on their behalf. While the majority of those had received a call back for review, we have also been approached by women who did not receive a letter in July 2014 but have since been confirmed as one of those affected by Miss Cockburn’s practices. It is very likely, therefore, that there are other patients who have been affected but who have not received a letter from the trust.
“All of these claims involve hugely sensitive issues and some of our clients have suffered permanent life-changing injuries as a result of Miss Cockburn’s substandard medical care. Almost all of our clients feel that their trust has been breached and that they have been let down by Miss Cockburn.
“We are seeing very similar issues across the cases which, based on the admissions made by the trust to date and our own expert evidence, indicate that Miss Cockburn had a tendency to undertake surgery on patients which was neither indicated nor required. Some patients are therefore unclear about what surgery they have had.
“The trust is being co-operative and open with us at this stage and we hope that this continues. We believe that these claims can be dealt with efficiently, sympathetically and cost-effectively.”
Anyone concerned about their treatment by Jayne Cockburn can either email Elise Bevan or call us free on 0800 328 9545 for an initial chat.
The Surrey Advertiser includes commentary from Elise Bevan in a report about the legal action which is being pursued. To view the coverage, please click here.