Consultant Gynaecologist under Review for Allegedly Causing Harm to Hundreds of Female Patients

A former specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr Daniel Hay, is currently under investigation for treatment he provided at the Royal Derby Hospital and Ripley Hospital between April 2017 and June 2018, which resulted in many of his patients experiencing ‘unnecessary harm’.

Concerns Raised

Owing to concerns raised by his former colleagues in late 2018 an initial review into the treatment of 58 women was commenced. This was later widened and 382 women have now been identified as having potentially been affected.

The review encompasses major surgical treatment such as hysterectomies as well as minor surgical treatment and outpatient treatment carried out by Dr Hay within the relevant period.

Intermediary Findings of the Review

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, who are conducting the review in conjunction with NHS England, has found instances of women not counselled appropriately as to alternative non-surgical options to hysterectomies and also instances where treatment ‘fell significantly below’ standards resulting in:

  • Burns;

  • Temporary paralysis;

  • Infected wounds;

  • Uncontrolled and abnormal bleeding problems;

  • Significant abdominal pain, and

  • Severe mental health issues.

Dr Hay has since retired from the trust. The full anonymised report is due to be published at a later date, which is yet to be announced.

Other Options

Sadly where patients have uterine or ovarian cancer major gynaecological surgery such as a hysterectomy is often unavoidable, but with diagnoses, such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis, there may be other ways of treating or dealing with these problems. The treating doctor should discuss the different options available and their side effects with the patient in order to allow them to make an informed decision.

Pain and Recovery Times

If surgery is a necessity or the patient has elected to proceed down this route then it is important to note that, whilst some level of pain and discomfort is considered normal following major abdominal or pelvic surgery, this should be capable of being controlled by painkillers.

Recovery times can be six to eight weeks after an abdominal hysterectomy but are often shorter following a vaginal or laparoscopy hysterectomy. Many of Dr Hay’s patients experienced continuous pain and, in some cases, worsening symptoms beyond this time frame.

Clinical Negligence Claims

Not all complications from surgery provide grounds for a legal claim, but it is important to be aware that these may have arisen due to potential failings on the part of the doctor.

Lanyon Bowdler’s award winning clinical negligence team includes members of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel and AvMA panel members. The team has extensive experience of dealing with gynaecological cases. If you have concerns about gynaecological care you have received, our team is happy to discuss the matter with you and guide you through the process sensitively. Please contact us.