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A Hospital Trust has apologised to a patient after admitting liability for injuries she suffered during a hysterectomy performed by a gynaecologist under investigation for potentially harming scores of women.
The woman in her 40s suffered a cut bowel during surgery performed by Dr Daniel Hay at Royal Derby Hospital. She suffered complications including damage to her bladder and uterus. She lost around two-and-a-half litres of blood and required further surgery.
Other less invasive care options weren’t discussed with her before the mum-of-three underwent a hysterectomy, she said.
Dr Daniel Hay patients ask medical negligence lawyers for help
The woman, from Derby, is among a number who contacted specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell with concerns about their care. It comes after NHS England launched a review into Mr Hay’s work at Royal Derby Hospital as well as outpatient appointments at Ripley Hospital.
Mr Hay no longer works for University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Derby Hospital.
Royal Derby Hospital trust admits liability over woman's hysterectomy
The Trust admitted a breach of duty in the woman’s care.
It admitted other treatment options should have been explored prior to her undergoing a hysterectomy. A digital search to find a pedicle that had become lost in surgery caused avoidable trauma. The search wasn’t common practice and shouldn’t have been performed.
If the woman had received other less invasive treatment she wouldn’t have undergone a hysterectomy when she did and she wouldn’t have suffered complications, the Trust added.
University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust apologises to patient
Through its lawyers the Trust said it was “sincerely sorry” that the woman “did not receive the standard of care that she was entitled to expect and for the injuries she suffered as a result.”
The woman’s legal team at Irwin Mitchell is now working with the Trust to reach a settlement for the woman in connection with her injuries.
Expert Opinion“The care failings that our client endured resulted in her suffering significant and life-changing physical and emotional injuries.
“Sadly this appears not to have been an isolated incident with NHS England also identifying similar trends as part of its investigation.
“While nothing can make up for the trauma our client has been through, we’re pleased to have been able to provide her with the answers she deserves. We hope that the settlement will allow her to access the specialist support she requires to try to look to the future the best she can.
“No doubt many other women will continue to have concerns about their care. It’s vital that these patients receive the support they need and the answers they deserve.
“We’ll continue to work with the Trust to provide women with answers and ensure all lessons possible are learned to improve patient safety.” Millie Bolsover - Paralegal
Medical negligence: Our client's story
The woman visited her GP in November 2017 complaining that she had experienced 18 months of abdominal bloating and her periods had become heavier and more painful. Following scans she was diagnosed with adenomyosis which sees tissue that normally lines the womb start to grow within muscle.
The woman was referred to Derby and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust. In February 2018 she was seen by Dr Hay who discussed a hysterectomy with her. She underwent the procedure in June 2018.
The woman had stents fitted. She spent nine days in hospital and had to undergo further surgery at a later date to remove the stents. She has required ongoing care from the gynaecology team, a serious incident investigation report by the Trust found.
It found there was no evidence that the woman had been counselled regarding alternative treatment options prior to agreeing to a hysterectomy.
The NHS website says a hysterectomy can cure adenomyosis, but will only be considered if all other treatments have failed.
Dr Daniel Hay patient continues to live with consequences of substandard care
The woman said: “More than three years on it’s still difficult to accept and come to terms with what happened to me.
“While the physical scars are healing I’m still left with the psychological scars of what happened. When you see a doctor you put your faith in them. You have no reason not to question what they tell you.
“The hardest thing to try and get my head around is that the options available to me were taken out of my hands. A hysterectomy isn’t a minor procedure. It’s life-changing and there’s no going back.
“So they can make the most informed decision about what’s best for them, patients should always be made fully aware of the options available. I wouldn’t have agreed to surgery without first seeing if other treatments could have helped me.
“I just feel so sorry for all of the other women who find themselves in similar situation and who still have unanswered questions.
“By sharing my story I hope, in some small way, I can help raise awareness and improve safety for others. People shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or seek a second opinion from another doctor.
“I know nothing can make up for the last few years but I’m relieved that I have the answers I deserve. It’s not going to be easy but I’m determined to try and focus on the future and my family rather than dwell on the past.
“However, it’s vital that other women realise they don’t have to suffer alone. There is help and support available.”
NHS England investigating hundreds of gynaecology cases
NHS England has reviewed 327 cases involving Mr Hay’s work at the Trust between 2015 and 2018. In May an interim report found major concerns with the care received by 50 women and some concern with the care a further 69 patients received. There was evidence that some women may have come to “direct harm,” the report said.
The 327 cases included 181 gynaecology procedures such as hysterectomies and 36 obstetrics cases, covering surgery such as caesarean sections. The care of 110 women, who attended outpatient appointments at Ripley Hospital, was also investigated.
Find out more about our expertise in helping patients following issues in their care at our dedicated medical negligence section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.