A local mother of two has been awarded £200,000 compensation for a mistake made at Princess Royal Hospital, Hull, during a routine ovarian cyst operation, which led to the patient requiring a colostomy for life. The compensation was secured with the help of leading clinical negligence firm Thompsons Solicitors.

Mrs Adrienne Adamson, 45, a nurse at the Hull Royal Infirmary, was diagnosed with ovarian cysts in 2001 and had an operation at the Princess Royal Hospital Hull in July 2001. She became ill days later because the bowel had been damaged in the operation; she was referred to the Hull Royal Infirmary and given a life-saving colostomy operation.

Usually a colostomy is reversed within 3-6 months. However, the wound became infected, the colostomy deteriorated and had to be repeated, and was still infected seven months later. Soon afterwards, Mrs Adamson developed symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis which meant that she could no longer have surgery to reverse the colostomy.

Hospital admitted liability

Princess Royal Hospital Hull admitted liability for not recognising that she was developing the signs of bowel damage in the days following the original operation or referring her to the Hull Royal Infirmary earlier, and initially offered £5,000 to settle the claim. The settlement of £200,000 was reached a year later after the case had been listed for trial.

Mrs Adamson explains: "I should have been out of hospital within days but instead I was there for two months. I was also off work for a year, a job I loved, and now I cannot return to work which I'm very upset about. I am slowly coming to terms with the onset of rheumatoid arthritis and looking after my colostomy whilst disabled with this condition. The compensation will certainly help."

Sarah Goodman, for clinical negligence law firm Thompsons, in Birmingham, comments: "We are pleased with the outcome of the case, although no amount of money can compensate for the fact that Mrs Adamson will have now have to suffer, unnecessarily, for the rest of her life. It is sad that she had to resort to legal proceedings before receiving any admission or offer of compensation. She made a complaint in 2001 which the Trust answered with expressions of sympathy only, and only instructed solicitors in 2004, when she realised she would have to give up work. The admission came in February 2005. This delay is hard to understand when the hospital had investigated the matter back in 2001, especially when the victim was a well-regarded employee as well as a patient."