01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams

Tag Archive: never events

Serious questions asked of Hospital Trust as swab was left in patient for 13 years

Frank Hibbard


Hudgell Solicitors are supporting a devastated widow who is demanding answers from a hospital Trust as to how a swab was left inside her husband for 13 years following an operation.

Former long-distance lorry driver Francis Hibbard was often in agony before he died, according to his wife Christine.

Now, she is asking serious questions over his treatment as when he attended at hospital shortly before his death, scans showed a retained swab in his pelvic region, which had been left there for 13 years.

A mass attached to it had calcified and grown around veins and had become the size of a melon, pressing on his rectum and bowel.

Luton and Dunstable Hospital has admitted the swab was mistakenly left behind following Mr Hibbard’s prostate operation in 2001. It was also then missed on a CT scan in 2003 and only identified in 2014 when Mr Hibbard suffered a severe deterioration.

Mr Hibbard was at that point also found to have developed multiple sites of cancer, and died before an operation to remove the mass could be carried out.

Medical Negligence Specialists

It comes as a report last week revealed such mistakes – called ‘Never Events’ in the medical profession because they are serious incidents and errors that the NHS accepts are ‘wholly preventable’ and therefore, should never happen – are being made repeatedly across the country.

Almost 1,200 such ‘unacceptable serious events’ have occurred in hospitals in England over the past four years, with mistakes including operations taking place on the wrong patient and the wrong limbs, objects being left inside the body, and even a kidney being removed instead of an ovary.

The situation has brought national media attention to the widespread failings, with Mr Hibbard’s case reported on by Sky News, the Daily Express and the Mirror newspapers.

An inquest into Mr Hibbard’s death is now due to be heard next month.

Renu Daly, a medical negligence specialist at Hudgell Solicitors, says such a mistake should never have been allowed to happen.

“There is quite simply no excuse or explanation that can be given to defend the error of leaving a swab behind inside a patient following an operation. It is a simple case of counting the swabs in and back out again to ensure a mistake is not made,” she said.

“Mr and Mrs Hibbard were left in a total state of shock when they were told of the swab having been left in him for so long.

“He went back to hospital as the pains he was suffering were so bad, and it was a big shock to be told a large mass had developed around the retained swab and was pressing on rectum and bowel.

“It has left many serious questions to be asked as to how this sort of error could ever happen, and the full impact this had on the quality of life Mr Hibbard was able to enjoy with his family.”

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has already admitted breach of duty in relation to the swab being left behind in Mr Hibbard, as well as admitting that a key opportunity was missed to spot and remove the swab on a scan.

Now, Mrs Hibbard is taking legal action against the Trust, through Hudgell Solicitors, claiming the hospital’s errors were completely unacceptable.

Christine with memories

Christine with memories

“When we went to hospital and saw the scan in June 2014, we saw a large white mass and a doctor said to us that it was clearly a swab which had been left in. It looked like a fishing hook,” said Mrs Hibbard.

“The only time it could have been from was from Frank’s prostate operation in 2001, and we were told it had calcified and grown around veins, intruding into his rectum. Frank needed an operation to remove the mass as soon as possible, but he became too weak and fell into a deep coma like sleep for seven days, before he died in my arms.

“Part of me died that day too, as ever since I have felt lost and alone. My husband of nearly fifty years and my best friend was gone forever.”

Mrs Hibbard, 70, says her husband was left in constant pain before he died in the summer of 2014.

“I feel angry. Angry firstly that a swab was left behind following his operation in 2001, and then that it was also missed on a scan,” she said.

“All those years he lived with a swab inside him. I just feel the health system badly let him down. In my view the poor treatment left him in agony and had a massive impact on his health. I am so angry and always will be.”

Having first met him when she was just 16, and married two years later in September 1964. Frank’s death, just short of his 70th birthday, has left a massive hole in the life of Mrs Hibbard, her two children and four grandchildren.

They were always there for one another, including a difficult time in their lives when losing their daughter Allison, who died nine years ago.

“The pain is still intensely raw and remains at the forefront of my mind. He is the first thing I think about when I wake and I have difficulty sleeping without him. The crushing pain comes from knowing he is never coming back,” added Mrs Hibbard.

“We went everywhere and did everything together. In the days that followed I was afraid to go out of the house. How could I on my own? Frank was my rock, and life will never be the same without him.”

Read More

24/02/2016 No Comments

Never Events: The life-threatening, ‘wholly preventable’ NHS mistakes which happen more than 30 times a month

Hospital beds


They are called ‘Never Events’ in the medical profession, given the name because they are serious incidents and errors that the NHS accepts are ‘wholly preventable’ and therefore, should never happen.

However, a report today has highlighted how almost 1,200 such ‘unacceptable serious events’ have occurred in hospitals in England over the past four years.

Read More

18/02/2016 No Comments

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 456 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90