£8,500 recovered for delay in diagnosing a tumour resulting in surgical removal of the right ovary

We have recently settled a case on behalf of a woman from Canterbury who had an ovarian tumour go undiagnosed for over 2 years following a failure to perform a simple ultrasound scan in January 2005.

Our client, an inpatient under the Mental Health Act, complained on a number of occasions to the treating staff of abdominal pain. An ultrasound scan was requested by the Consultant in charge. However, due to an error on the part of the treating doctors, that ultrasound scan was never performed.

Our client began to suffer with further abdominal pain and saw her GP in February 2007. She was referred for an ultrasound scan which showed a large tumour around the right ovary.

Following further investigation, our client underwent open surgery in April 2007 for removal of the tumour together with her right ovary.

Although our client underwent a more serious operation than she could have expected had the tumour been diagnosed sooner, which resulted in more scarring and the loss of her right ovary, her long term prognosis was unaffected by the delay.

The Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust did not formally admit liability for the error, but they swiftly agreed to settle the case for £8,500.

Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of the case throughout, commented:-

“Failing to perform an ultrasound scan was such a simple mistake for the Trust to have allowed to happen, but which could so easily have had disastrous consequences for my client.

However, thankfully, on this occasion, due to the type of tumour this was, my client was not put at any increased long term risk of tumour recurrence as a result of the negligence of the Trust.

My client is very happy that the Trust have acknowledged their failings by settling her case.”