Our client was suffering from ulcerative colitis and was admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital as an emergency admission. Failures in respect of surgical planning resulted in significant internal injuries and infertility.
A complaint was raised and initially, the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board investigated the treatment internally in accordance with the NHS Complaints procedure. The conclusion reached following input from the treating surgeon was that it was unfortunate our client had experienced difficulties but it was “very difficult to judge what could have been done differently”.
The complaint was however referred for independent review. As part of the independent review significant failures were identified, particularly in regards to delay, staffing levels and surgical planning. It was commented that the chosen surgical procedure was “doomed to failure”.
It was recommended that the Royal College of Surgeons urgently undertake a retrospective review of the surgeon’s major operative workload and that the Health Board should perform an audit of his workload to ensure that our client’s case was an isolated incident.
Our client suffered catastrophic life-changing injuries impacting on her ability to work and necessitating support and adaptations to her home. She was later devastated to learn that the internal injuries had left her infertile.
We investigated both UK and Foreign Surrogacies options so that she could have the family she had always intended. Interim payments from the Defendant were arranged and our client embarked on a surrogacy arrangement in California resulting in the birth of her first child. Of particular note were the substantial and often unexpected costs associated with the surrogacy journey to include surrogacy agency fees, medical treatment, hospital expenses, insurance (health and travel), US legal fees, UK legal fees, immigration expenses, flights and accommodation for 3 months in California and hire car expenses.
The surrogacy journey took approximately 2 years commencing with treatment in a UK clinic and an initial short visit to the US, followed by 3 months in California for the birth of her child and finally concluding with a Hearing at the High Court for parental responsibility. The total cost of the surrogacy journey was approximately £300,000. Having successfully completed the process that figure was able to be utilised for future surrogacy costs.
Following negotiation the claim settled in the sum of £2.75 million.