University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence at a hospital within the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust you may be entitled to financial compensation. To speak to an expert about your situation, call Quittance on 0800 612 7456.

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Case details

University Hospital Of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (2003) Case Study

A 35 year old woman was awarded £47,000 at Manchester County Court for the negligent repair of a labial tear at the University of South Manchester Hospital, which left her with pain and psychosexual problems

The woman, who was 29 at the time of her injury, sustained an extensive labial tear (non-negligent) when giving birth to her daughter. A senior house officer, unqualified for the task, stitched the tear so ineptly that the skin formed a hood over the claimant's urethra.

Two revision operations under general anaesthetic were required to reconstruct the claimant's vulva. This left sensitive scar tissue, and at times caused her pain on standing.

Despite the operations the woman continued to suffer urethral spraying, which was a daily inconvenience and also led to a loss of dignity. She developed a psychosexual disorder, which according to her medical expert amounted to a secondary vaginismus. However, the defendant's expert diagnosed her condition as "minimal" vaginismus with a sexual aversion disorder.

It was agreed that the effect on the claimant, her treatment and prognosis were the same. She was unable to contemplate intercourse and even sensitive and skilful medical examinations remained difficult and painful. Inserting a tampon was also not possible.

The claimant was sensitive to the fact that her genitalia were not "normal" and although in medical terms the abnormality was only slight, this was not considered to be relevant.

Her 12 year relationship with her daughter's father had broken down immediately after the birth, and although she would have liked a partner who would be a true father figure to the child (who had been born with cerebral palsy) she was unable to contemplate going on a date in case she was subjected to a sexual advance.

Treatment was available for the claimant's psychosexual difficulties and her parents had offered to help with childcare in order that she could lead a fuller life. However the continuing pain, perceived genital abnormality and lack of a sensitive and supportive partner meant that the chances of successful treatment were reduced from 90% to only 30%.

It was also reasonable for the claimant to refuse further surgery on her urethra.

Prior to the injury the claimant had a normal sex life with her partner and the judge considered that there ought to be parity between awards made for male impotence and its female equivalent. It should also be acknowledged that sexual enjoyment was not just limited to procreation.

Judge Leeming QC found that the pain, which would be permanent, and psychosexual problems had contributed to the depression sustained by the claimant after the birth. He also accepted that the psychosexual injury was likely to be permanent and that further pregnancy for the woman - who wanted another child - would only be possible with assisted conception.

If she were to become pregnant by these means, then she would be older than she would have wished and her time to conceive would be limited by this.

Compensation Settlement

The claimant was awarded £36,000 (£52,148.97 RPI) for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, and special damages were agreed at £11,000. Judge Leeming QC found the case of Hill v Liverpool Health Authority (1993) to be of assistance in making his decision and further added that he if had been minded to make a separate award for the depression, this would have been £2,000, with an award of £8,000 for the urethral spraying.

Making a compensation claim against the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

Making a claim for medical or clinical negligence can seem initially overwhelming. Hospital Trusts are large complex organisations. Just finding out what happened can be complicated.

The panel of solicitors have significant experience in taking on hospital trusts and securing financial compensation for people affected by clinical or medical negligence.

Call us on 0800 612 7456 to discuss your situation with a claims expert or find out what your claim could be worth.

Read more: clinical negligence compensation claims

How can Quittance help?

The panel of clinical negligence solicitors have over 25 years experience helping injured people make clinical negligence claims.

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