Lucy Hart, a 28 year old bank manager from Surrey, has been awarded £27,000 in compensation after a botched operation carried out by the NHS.
Miss Hart had been suffering from a cyst and excessive skin on her labia after it became over-stretched when she gave birth at the age of 16. The excess skin was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Miss Hart and she suffered from regular yeast infections. Not only did the excess skin cause physical health problems, it also made Miss Hart feel uncomfortable with herself making intimacy difficult with her partner.
In 2009, Miss Hart decided she would like to do something about the excess skin on her labia and went to see her GP who referred her to a private plastic surgeon. The surgery would cost £4,500 but Miss Hart was unable to afford this so her GP then referred her to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital so that she could get the procedure done on the NHS.
The surgeon at the hospital explained to Miss Hart that there were 2 possible surgical options. The first option would be for him to simply cut the excess skin away, the second option would be to cut in a triangle shape but this option would require stitching. Both Miss Hart and the surgeon agreed that the first option would be best for her.
On the day of the surgery a junior doctor from the surgeon’s team came with a consent form which Miss Hart then signed. Miss Hart described the junior doctor as very arrogant; he did not introduce himself and kept on rushing her.
When Miss Hart awoke from her procedure she discovered that she was heavily bandaged and padded in-between her legs. She was sent home and once back she received a call from the hospital surgery department. Miss Hart was bleeding quite heavily and she asked the nurse on the phone why this was. The nurse told Miss Hart that this was normal for about 24hours after the operation and that it was probably due to the stitches.
Miss Hart queried why she had stitches considering that she had agreed to the first procedure that did not require them. The nurse told her that the second procedure had actually been performed and that the surgeon Miss Hart had originally agreed to did not carry out the operation. In fact, the junior doctor carried out the procedure and whilst operating he decided that the second procedure would be the best solution.
The following day, Miss Hart was still bleeding and she was advised to visit her local health centre. At the health centre, a nurse took a look at the wound and found that Miss Hart had a large haematoma on both sides of her labia.
After another 24 hours, Miss Hart was still bleeding and the haematoma was still present. She went back to the hospital where another surgeon took a look and advised that she would need the hematoma removing in another operation.
When Miss Hart was waiting for her second operation, the junior doctor came to visit her and he apologised profoundly. The second procedure involved Miss Hart having her stitches removed, the area cleaned and the haematoma removed, and for the wound be stitched back up again.
After the second surgery, Miss Hart continued to bleed so she went back to her original surgeon. He told her that before they could do anything else the wound would need to heal as it was severely swollen, and this could take up to 6months. Miss Hart was advised not to engage in any sexual activity or sports over this time.
The lack of physical intimacy severely affected the relationship with her partner and despite them been engaged and spending a large amount of money on their future wedding together, unfortunately her partner had an affair and as a result, their relationship came to an end.
Miss Hart was distraught and still very unhappy with how her labia looked after the two operations. She went back to see her surgeon for an appointment but ended up being seen by his stand-in at the time – a senior registrar. He took a look at Miss Hart and said that the operation needs to be re-done again.
During the third operation, Miss Hart had the excessive skin cut off but the haematomas left a cavity which needed to be closed and the wound was stitched up again. Miss Hart felt as though everything looked much better after the third operation, although she was still not fully happy and she may possibly need yet another operation. If Miss Hart has any future surgery she does not want to have it done on the NHS since she was so disappointed with the previous operations. Miss Hart cannot afford private surgery and it was for this reason that her GP advised that she make a claim for compensation for the clinical negligence she had suffered.
Miss Hart made a formal complaint to the NHS complaints department. The matter was investigated and a letter was sent to Miss Hart apologising that the operation was not carried out correctly and that it had been performed by a junior doctor opposed to the surgeon she had agreed to.
Miss Hart received £27,000 for her injuries sustained from Clinical Negligence thanks to the work carried out by Anna Pearson at Express Solicitors. She has had to take substantial time off work and has been left feeling both physically and mentally devastated.
If you have suffered from Clinical Negligence and would like to make a claim for financial compensation, please ring Express Solicitors on 0800 158 5274 for free legal advice and help with your claim.