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Compensation For Inadequately Repaired Perineal Tear: NHS Payout to Mother

Compensation For Inadequately Repaired Perineal Tear: NHS Payout to Mother

A former student nurse who was left with life-long medical problems following the birth of her first child at Stafford Hospital, forcing her to give up her career, has been given a six-figure sum as part of a settlement with the NHS Trust responsible for her care. Dalia Du Maurier gave birth to her daughter Isabeau by ventouse delivery in February 2010, following a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. Unfortunately she suffered a perineal tear, which was noticed and treated. She was discharged the following day.

It was only over the ensuing months that Ms Du Maurier began to experience a number of medical difficulties, developing a rectovaginal fistula and faecal incontinence due to the tear in her perineum being inadequately repaired. The fistula is permanently damaged, and she must now wear a colostomy bag; she has also suffered a parastomal hernia.

Trust took four years to admit liability for negligent repair of perineal tear

Medical evidence found that, if the perineum had been repaired at the time of Isabeau’s delivery, the colostomy and other subsequent treatments would not have been required.

A lengthy legal case began when Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust refused to accept liability. It eventually admitted responsibility in March, and the case has been settled with a £390,000 payment, to be held in a Personal Injury Trust to cover the various treatments and therapies Ms Du Maurier will need for the rest of her life. Putting payments in such a trust means that they are effectively protected from means testing, so that an individual will not be disentitled from any state benefits they may be claiming.

“Nothing can turn back the clock”

The County Hospital, as it is now known, is to lose its consultant-led maternity unit in January 2015, and mothers pregnant with their first babies will likely be moved to the Royal Stoke University Hospital, which has nationally-acclaimed expertise in treating the same conditions endured by Ms Du Maurier.

Ian Syme, of pressure group North Staffordshire Healthwatch, said he hoped that the medical professionals involved in her case “should not be allowed to transfer to the Royal Stoke”, if they cannot show they have learned lessons from their lack of care.

Four years to conclude perineal tear compensation claim

Ms Du Maurier praised her mother for helping to care for her and her daughter over the past four years, but said “I’m angry that the NHS lawyers have dragged this out for so long when they could have dealt with it two years ago”.

She added “Unfortunately nothing can turn back the clock and I’m still devastated by the position I now find myself in. I’d rather not be caught up in this nightmare but thankfully I now have the settlement which will help me to begin to move on with my life. I just hope the trust has learnt from this and improved the care for anyone in a similar situation”.

Making a compensation claim for a birth injury

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you.

If you have concerns about the medical care that you have received, please contact a member of the IBB clinical negligence team. Our goal at IBB Solicitors is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

Please contact a member of our team on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to malcolm.underhill@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.