What a horror! Woman had hysterectomy only to be told afterwards she was pregnant and doctors aborted the son she always wanted
A mother of three girls had a hysterectomy only to be told by doctors afterwards that while she slept they had also aborted the son she had always wanted but did not know she was carrying.
Suzanne Doherty, 42, woke after surgery to be told the baby boy she always wanted had been terminated.
Mrs Doherty was left suffering from depression after the operation, performed at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
She was unaware she was 14 weeks pregnant. Medical staff also failed to spot the unborn foetus, despite a consultant noting that Mrs Doherty’s uterus was abnormally large before the operation.
The procedure meant the unborn baby died. Mrs Doherty was awarded £62,000 after the hospital admitted liability and a ‘catalogue of errors’.
Rob Jones, the consultant gynaecologist at the hospital who delivered the Prime Minister’s daughter Florence in 2010, is currently being investigated for misconduct and has resigned and removed his name from the medical register.
Some 1,500 of his patients are having their cases reviewed but it is not clear whether he was specifically involved in Mrs Doherty’s care.
Mrs Doherty, who lives in St Mabyn, Cornwall, said the ordeal of the operation in 2007 sent her into a spiral of depression and she eventually lost her job as a result.
She said: ‘I was told the operation had been a success but unfortunately a foetus had been discovered and that the foetus had been terminated. I was told with just the curtains pulled, so there were other people in the bay that heard what had happened.
‘It shouldn’t happen in this day and age. There are so many checks. It shouldn’t get to the point where a pregnancy was missed.’
Mrs Doherty said that following the operation she was physically well but had ‘long bouts of quite bad depression’.
She said: ‘I would go back to work and then I wouldn’t be able to handle it and I would be off again, which ended with me having to lose my job. Knowing the fact that we’ve got three girls and we could have had a son, that was absolutely devastating.
‘It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I have accepted what has happened.
‘The money we can use for the children. But that’s never going to bring my son back.’ Her solicitor, Charlotte Skouby, said: ‘Following the removal of our client’s cervix a 14-week-old foetus was discovered and the pregnancy diagnosed at which point, tragically, the pregnancy was no longer viable.
‘The responsible NHS trust admitted the fact of the inadvertent termination and that the diagnosis of the pregnancy could and should have been made at the point when it was still viable, thus enabling our client to go on to term and deliver a much wanted baby boy.’
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised. Lezli Boswell, the trust’s chief executive, said: ‘I am deeply sorry to hear about any anxiety, pain or distress caused to our patients.’
More surgeons need to work weekends, RCS admits
More consultants and senior doctors need to work on weekends to improve patient safety, the country’s leading surgeons group has admitted.
The comments came after an NHS chief has said should take a lesson from Tesco and give patients a full service of operations and scans at weekends,
Under the plans to be outlined this week, hospital consultants and family doctors will be urged to reorganise their hours to serve the public seven days a week.
Sir Bruce Keogh, the National Health Service’s medical director, said it was a waste of expensive equipment and facilities for operating theatres to lie unused on Saturdays and Sundays.
Many elderly patients would welcome appointments at weekends for scans, screening and surgery so that their younger relatives would not need to take time off work to accompany them in the week, he said.
His proposals, which will be presented in detail tomorrow, immediately encountered resistance from doctors’ leaders, who warned that the NHS had little in common with a supermarket.
But surgeon leaders said today while hospital were far more “complex” than Tesco, proposals to increase senior doctor levels at weekends should be considered.
The Royal College of Surgeons rejected the idea that hospitals should be treated the same as the retailer, but added that more consultants needed to work outside business hours.
“Well, it is true there is a problem at weekends, there is no question about it,” said Prof Norman Williams, its president. “I feel we have to do something about that. It [weekend services] is not across the country, it is in patches. “The issue is more consistency throughout the system.”
But the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors, criticised the proposals.
“The health service is not Tesco — I don’t think that is a good comparison,” a BMA spokesman said. “Equally, there are examples around the country where clinics are taking place at weekends.”
Lower staffing levels in hospitals at weekends have been blamed for higher death rates than during the week. Studies have warned that patients admitted to hospital on a Sunday almost 16 per cent more likely to die than those who arrive on a Wednesday, while deaths from strokes were more common in patients admitted at weekends.
In a newspaper interview, Sir Bruce suggested that existing NHS rotas had been organised to suit staff, rather than patients.
“If you wanted a day case operation, and you didn’t want to take a day off work, why can’t you have it on a Saturday or Sunday?” he said.
“If you are an elderly person who struggles to get to the hospital, why does your niece, nephew, son or daughter have to take a day or a half day off work to take you to and from the hospital purely for the convenience of the people who are running it?”
The rest of the commercial world was taking a different approach, he added. “Tesco have had to go through this — it was a complex issue for them,” he said. “As we think this through, we will need to look again at the terms and conditions of service of people — their employment conditions.”
Hospitals could be offered financial incentives to improve weekend staffing and services, and face penalties for failing to embrace the reforms.
Faith schools account for six out of 10 top-scoring grade schools in England
This year religious schools accounted for six out of 10 primaries where every pupil reached the expected standard for English and maths at the age of 11.
They also maintained their dominance at the very top of the annual national league tables for results in these tests even though they make up only about a third of schools across the country.
Critics of faith-based schools argue that they attract more middle-class children, who are likely to do well academically because of their backgrounds, at the expense of youngsters from poorer families.
However, the schools say their success is based on their strong traditional values and the high standards they encourage all pupils to meet.
Department for Education statistics show that 896 primaries scored 100 per cent in the measure of how many of their 11-year-olds reached Level 4, the standard expected for their age group, in both English and maths this year.
Of these 552 were faith schools, nearly 62 per cent of the total, up from 60 per cent last year.
They included 406 Church of England primaries, 131 Roman Catholic, six Jewish, four Methodist, one Greek Orthodox and one Sikh. The other three simply described themselves as Christian schools.
All three of the top primaries in England were Church of England schools, based on the proportion of 11-year-old pupils who achieved the more difficult Level 5 in both English and maths.
British MPs and Peers launch gay marriage rebellion saying Cameron has ‘no mandate’
Almost 60 members of the Commons and Lords have signed a letter to The Daily Telegraph accusing the Coalition of acting without a mandate. In a strongly-worded statement, they pour scorn on the Government’s consultation process which they say is mired in doubts over its legitimacy.
And they accuse the Coalition of “ploughing on regardless” in the face of what they describe as an “overwhelming public response” opposition to the change.
Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, announced plans to allow same-sex couples to marry last week. A bill is expected at the end of January and David Cameron hopes to get the redefinition of marriage through parliament by the summer.
The letter which carries the names of Conservative, Labour and independent members as well as those from smaller parties, marks the launch of a campaign in Parliament to oppose the measure.
Supporters say those who have publicly signed so far represent only a proportion of those likely to vote against when a bill comes before Parliament in the New Year.
Some 137 Conservative MPs, almost half the parliamentary party, are now expected to vote against, based on letters written privately to constituents. But this is the first time a large number of parliamentarians have publicly signed up to oppose the change.
“At the last election, none of the three main parties stood on a platform to redefine marriage,” they write. “It was not contained in any of their manifestos, nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. “These facts alone should have led to extreme caution on the part of those calling for this change to be made.
“Instead the Government is ignoring the overwhelming public response against the plans. “The consultation has ignored the views of 500,000 British residents in favour of anonymous submissions from anyone anywhere in the world. “We believe that the Government does not have a mandate to redefine marriage.”
The group includes former ministers such as Sir Gerald Howarth, Tim Loughton and David Davis as well as rising stars of the party such as Rehman Chishti, the Pakistan-born former Benazir Bhutto who once ran as a Labour candidate before defecting to the Tories.
The campaign is being orchestrated by David Burrowes, the Tory MP for Enfield in north London, who once received death threats because of his stance on same-sex marriage.
Supporters in the Lords include Labour’s Lord Anderson and the crossbencher Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
The group insist that they value “loving and committed” gay relationships and support civil partnerships but see marriage as “distinctive” and insist the move is “divisive and unnecessary”.
“We understand some parliamentarians support freedom for same sex couples to marry, but we support a freedom from the state being able to redefine the meaning of marriage,” they write.
In a commentary on telegraph.co.uk Mr Burrowes speaks of opponents of same-sex marriage already facing “Orwellian” treatment, such as that meted out to Adrian Smith, the housing trust official from Trafford who lost his managerial position after expressing his view in a personal Facebook posting.
“Last week the Coalition Government announced the beginning of the end of the traditional meaning of marriage,” he writes. “It also marked the beginning of the Parliamentary campaign which I am leading and supported by a coalition of Parliamentarians across the political spectrum.”
He claims that once gay marriage becomes “state orthodoxy” those who oppose could find themselves “persecuted”.
One of the biggest challenges Mr Cameron faces over this issue is outside Parliament.
Last week Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, warned the row over marriage could “rip apart” the Tories and said he was planning to put the issue at the heart of his party’s 2014 European parliamentary elections campaign.