A man who had to have several rounds of corrective surgery after a routine procedure at a private hospital in Darlington went wrong has been awarded significant damages by the surgeon's insurers.

The 46-year-old was admitted to Woodlands Hospital for routine gall bladder surgery in September 2007. However he has been left in constant pain and with severe damage to his bile duct after the surgeon, Mr Debrah, failed to follow well-established principles regarding the conduct of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.

Several rounds of corrective surgery

Reconstructive surgery was necessary to repair the damage caused to his bile duct and he subsequently developed a hernia which required further corrective surgery.

Five years on, the man from Darlington, County Durham is now suffering from a second hernia caused by the damage done by Mr Debrah but has been told by doctors that further surgery should be avoided to correct the condition, despite the severe discomfort it causes.

Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue

He has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue which, combined with his difficultly in moving freely or lifting heavy objects, has left him unable to work full time.

“The last five years have been spent battling against worsening health problems. It’s totally disrupted my ability to live and work as I once did,” said the victim.

“After the first hernia was fixed, I tried to get back to work full time as a night manager at a superstore but I have had to cut back to working 18 hours a week because of the pain.

“I’m pleased that I’ve been able to settle my case but it won’t reverse the damage that’s been done to my life and my health. I put my trust in Mr Debrah and his professional abilities and was totally let down.”

The long term impact of the surgeon’s negligence will continue

Leanne Couzens, a solicitor from Thompsons who ran the case said: “The significant sum of damages secured in this case demonstrates the serious nature and long term impact of the surgeon’s negligence which will continue into the future.

“There are well recognised established principles for this type of surgery, set in place specifically to limit these kinds of risks to patients and the consultant failed to follow them.

“With the private sector set to play an increasing role in the provision of public healthcare in the UK, it is vital that clinicians operating outside the NHS are held to the same high standards of care as those within.”