Seven former patients of a surgeon recently found guilty of a poor professional performance are claiming compensation for gynaecological errors.
Last week, the Medical Council found gynaecologist Dr Peter Van Greene guilty of two counts of a poor professional performance after a complaint had been brought against him by Helen Cruise – a sixty-one year old patient who had undergone a hysterectomy procedure at the Aut Even private hospital in Kilkenny.
During the hearing of the Medical Council´s Fitness to Practise Committee, Helen and three other women who had been treated by the gynaecologist testified about the injuries they had sustained due to the doctor´s negligence. In Helen´s case, she had needed six units of blood due to excessive post-operative bleeding following a hysterectomy.
Helen also told the committee hearing that Dr Van Greene had only explained the procedure that was to be carried out – and the potential risks involved – after she had been administered with a spinal anaesthetic. She said her life had been ruined by the gynaecologist´s negligence, and that she had suffered from depression ever since.
The committee found that Dr Van Greene had failed to obtain Helen´s informed consent prior to the procedure, and that he had communicated with her in an inappropriate manner during a post-operative conversation with her. The committee has not yet revealed what sanctions it will impose on the doctor – which could vary from a fine to being struck off the medical register.
Prior to the finding of a poor professional performance, Helen and six other former patients of Dr Van Greene claimed compensation for gynaecological errors. The claims all relate to the period between 2009 and 2011, when Dr van Greene was performing hysterectomies at the Kilkenny hospital, and all claim to have suffered an adverse event due to a poor professional performance.
Dr Van Greene applied for bankruptcy in the UK earlier this year and is currently unemployed. However, if the claims for compensation for gynaecological errors are successful, the former patients making the claims will be able to recover compensation through his medical indemnity insurance cover.