A West Yorkshire gynaecologist has admitted making errors when carrying out sterilisation procedures on women, resulting in them becoming pregnant.
Hudgell Solicitors have recently settled compensation cases on behalf of patients relating to errors made by Mr Nicholas Myerson, with liability fully admitted.
Mr Myerson, a BUPA registered consultant and Clinical lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Bradford Royal Infirmary, who also practices privately at the Yorkshire Clinic in Bingley, failed to carry out the sterilisation procedures correctly.
Sterilisation involves sealing a woman’s fallopian tubes by clips, preventing eggs from being able to be fertilised. In two cases resulting in legal action, the clips were placed in the wrong position, and not on the fallopian tubes.
As a result his patients became pregnant and had to undergo further procedures to prevent them becoming pregnant again. The legal cases were settled with the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the NHS Commissioning Board.
Leeds-based clinical negligence solicitor Caroline Murgatroyd, of Hudgell Solicitors, says such errors can be the cause of great heartache for women who have made conscious decisions not to have more, or sometimes any children, only to suddenly be faced with a life-changing decision.
Damages reflect psychological impact and need for further surgery to prevent pregnancies
Damages are sought in such cases to reflect the psychological impact becoming unexpectedly pregnant can have. Compensation also covers physical pain relating to the errors, and the need for further surgery.
She said: “The impact of a failed sterilisation procedure can be very significant not only on the patient but also their family. Many women have this procedure after careful consideration of the impact that having a child, or another child, would have on their lives.
“Indeed, as it is very difficult to reverse the process, GPs often recommend counselling before referring patients for sterilisation. It is a big decision, so it can be very hard to comprehend that it has gone wrong, or the procedure was not followed correctly.
“It is more than 99 per cent effective when done right, so women quite rightly feel they are safe from getting pregnant again, a decision most families make together, usually after much consideration.
“It is always a decision taken having considered the impact becoming pregnant would have on their lives. To suddenly be faced with either having a child they had not wanted or planned for, or face having a termination, can have a long-term impact.
“Given the nature of the operation, which is relatively straight forward and common place in the health sector, it is very concerning to see a highly qualified specialist making the same basic mistake on two occasions.
Hudgell Solicitors says it has not revealed further details of the patients’ claims due to client confidentiality.
However, Miss Murgatroyd added: “These errors were made a couple of years apart, so it is very disappointing that lessons were not learned.”