The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP has just settled one of several cases in which it is currently instructed to pursue negligence claims against Frimley Park Hospital. The cases relate to care provided by consultant gynaecologist Jayne Cockburn who over a period of many years recommended and performed unnecessary surgery on a number of patients.
The patient in this case consulted Miss Cockburn in 2008 about the symptoms of a prolapse. She was advised that she would need surgery, to include the insertion of a permanent mesh for the prolapse, as well as a transvaginal tape. As she was not offered any conservative treatment, she assumed that surgery was her only option and so she went ahead. Afterwards, she reported problems with her bladder and bowel, as well as sexual intercourse being very painful.
In 2014 the patient saw another surgeon who was concerned that she had undergone extensive and complex surgery when more conservative surgery would have treated her prolapse symptoms. The surgeon was also concerned that a transvaginal tape had been inserted, as this is used to treat bladder stress incontinence which the patient did not have. In fact she had no bladder problems before the surgery.
Penningtons Manches was instructed to bring a claim for damages against the trust. The firm investigated the case, obtaining expert evidence from an independent consultant gynaecologist and, based on this evidence, alleged that in 2008 surgery should have been limited to a simple prolapse repair. The mesh should not have been used and a transvaginal tape should not have been inserted. On behalf of the trust, it was admitted that the patient had undergone surgery that was unnecessary, causing her harm and ongoing problems.
After considering the damage that had been sustained as well as the treatment which would be needed to help the patient, Penningtons Manches carried out a full assessment of her other past and likely future losses arising from the procedure. A fully particularised claim, supported by evidence, was presented to the other side and following a brief period of negotiation, the claim was settled. Damages of £75,000 were obtained.
Elise Bevan, senior associate in the clinical negligence team, who is running a number of cases against Frimley Park Hospital in relation to Miss Cockburn’s care, commented: “This client, in a similar way to all the other patients we are advising, presented to Miss Cockburn with a relatively straightforward problem, trusted the advice she was given and has been left far worse off than she was initially. Only a certain degree of improvement is likely to be achieved. While the trust has been open in its admissions, we have felt that its solicitors could have been more empathetic towards our clients who have encountered problems that they should never have had to experience.”
Penningtons Manches is dealing with a number of claims against both Frimley Park and Wexham Park Hospital in relation to unnecessary gynaecological surgery. Members of the clinical negligence team would be happy to speak to any patients with concerns about their care. Initial advice is offered without charge or obligation – call freephone 0800 328 9545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org