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Woman who suffered complications from vaginal mesh implant awarded at least £1m

Exclusive: Yvette Greenway-Mansfield given compensation after Coventry’s University Hospital was found to be medically negligent.

A woman who suffered traumatic complications from a vaginal mesh implant has been awarded a record settlement of at least £1m from the NHS.

Yvette Greenway-Mansfield, 59, was given a mesh implant at Coventry’s University Hospital in 2009 and went on to suffer serious complications. Her medical negligence claim against the hospital trust found that the surgery was carried out prematurely and unnecessarily and that her consent form had been doctored to include additional risks after Greenway-Mansfield had signed it.

Greenway-Mansfield said that being awarded the compensation was a “huge relief”, but added that many other women who have suffered similar damage had received little or no compensation, and criticised the government’s failure to establish a financial redress agency for victims.

“I’m not the only one. There are thousands of mes,” she said. “There should be a pot of money to provide damages for these women and a care plan in place as an automatic response to mesh-damaged people. It comes down to a perception of women and women’s health problems. We’ve all had enough of it.”

Greenway-Mansfield initially visited her GP in 2009 after developing lower abdominal discomfort and increased frequency of urination, causing anxiety around drinking fluids. Her symptoms were attributed to a uterine prolapse and a consultant gynaecologist recommend a vaginal hysterectomy with the insertion of transvaginal tape (TVT) mesh implant.

Initially, the surgery appeared to have been successful, but in 2017, while on a work trip to New Zealand, she began to experience pain and bleeding. “Upon my return to the UK, it was suggested that the mesh might have started to erode into the vaginal wall,” said Greenway-Mansfield. “I was shocked to hear this information as I had no idea such complications could happen.”

Her pain became more severe, but she was told there was no obvious medical solution. In February 2020, the mesh was removed following a private referral to the Spire Bristol Hospital, but she now suffers from urinary and faecal incontinence and chronic pain.

The claim found that Greenway-Mansfield’s form consenting to the procedures had been altered after she had signed it. The hospital’s version included a cystoscopy and extra risks, including failure, tape erosion, pain, overactive bladder and deep vein thrombosis. These were not on Greenway-Mansfield’s original carbon copy, which she had retained. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Greenway-Mansfield. “I felt utterly vindicated.”

“If I hadn’t kept that documentation, I could be standing in court, being subjected to a grilling, being made out to be a liar,” she said. “It breaks my heart for women who have to go through that.”

The surgery was also deemed to have been carried out before other options were explored, such as physiotherapy and bladder training.

Neil Clayton, clinical negligence partner at Lime Solicitors, which represented Greenway-Mansfield, said: “The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust owed a duty of care to ensure it obtained Mrs Greenway-Mansfield’s fully informed consent to any surgical procedure and advised her of the likely risks that could arise as a result.”

“The gynaecologist proceeded to surgery prematurely before exhausting all behavioural and medical options. Furthermore, she carried out the wrong operation for the wrong condition and proceeded to surgery unnecessarily. It is particularly shocking that Mrs Greenway-Mansfield signed a consent form that was altered afterwards to include risks she was never made aware of.

“No amount of money can fully compensate Mrs Greenway-Mansfield for the pain she has suffered and will continue to experience, and the lifelong care she will require, which all stems back to her not requiring mesh in the first place.”

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “We have directly offered our sincerest apologies to Mrs Greenway-Mansfield and recognise how her life has been affected by this procedure in 2009. The provision of procedures using vaginal mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse has been paused in England since 2019, and specialist centres were created in 2022.”

“We hope the settlement will enable Mrs Greenway-Mansfield to meet her ongoing care needs and provide security for her and her family into the future.”

This case is one which Stewart House provided the medical evidence.

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