Penningtons Manches LLP’s clinical negligence team has recently settled a claim against Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust after a client received negligent treatment from consultant gynaecologist, Miss Jayne Cockburn in 2008.
The client was referred to Miss Jayne Cockburn at Frimley Park Hospital after complaining of minor stress incontinence. Miss Cockburn was very quick to recommend that a tension-free vaginal tape-obturator (TVT-O) be fitted and an endometrial ablation for the client's heavy periods would be performed at the same time.
Despite undergoing the procedure, the client did not have any relief at all from her urinary symptoms. She also experienced extreme discomfort during sexual intercourse which she had not experienced prior to the procedure.
Six years later, the client received a letter from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust inviting her to come back to the hospital to discuss the care that she had received from Miss Cockburn as part of an internal investigation into the care she had provided her patients. She was informed during this meeting that Miss Cockburn had initially wrongly positioned the TVT-O and it was nowhere near where it should have been placed.
She required revision surgery and underwent this six years after the tape had been fitted. Thankfully, the revision surgery was successful and she no longer suffers from the symptoms that she was experiencing following the negligent surgery.
As part of Penningtons Manches’ investigations into the client's clinical negligence claim, it was also found that Miss Cockburn had failed to obtain the client's informed consent to the procedure and to advise her of a number of potential risks associated with the procedure. She also failed to advise her of the option of conservative management which is likely to have resolved her limited urinary symptoms.
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability in the claim and acknowledged that there had been a failure to by Miss Cockburn to advise the client of the risks associated with the transvaginal tape operation; a failure to offer her conservative management; and she had negligently and incorrectly positioned the tape during the procedure.
Emma Beeson, a member of the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches who is dealing with a number of claims against Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust for care provided by Miss Cockburn, commented: "I am really pleased that we were able to achieve a good settlement for our client and that the defendant trust made a swift admission of liability and acknowledged the failures in her care.
“Unfortunately, our client is not the only patient to have been affected by Miss Cockburn and it is hoped that the way the Trust has managed our client's claim will be the way in which they continue to deal with the other claims that we are dealing with against Miss Cockburn.
“This case highlights the importance of discussing the risks associated with a transvaginal tape operation with the patient prior to surgery and to also consider what conservative management may be available to resolve any limited urinary symptoms. Unfortunately, it appears that Miss Cockburn was very quick to operate on a number of women without first considering whether or not it was appropriate to do so and the implications of carrying out this surgery."