G’s labour began on 26 December 1998. Labour was protracted and augmented by Syntocinon.
During the pushing stage the midwife noted that the perineum was tearing and she performed a left lateral episiotomy. G’s daughter was born shortly afterwards. G sustained a second-degree tear in addition to the episiotomy during the delivery.
Following the delivery, the midwife sutured the episiotomy wound and the perineal tear. It was the Claimant’s case that the midwife was unsure of how best to repair the episiotomy and asked her supervisor for advice. The Sister undid some of the sutures, before advising her how to proceed.
Further the midwife asked the Registrar if he would take over, but he declined, telling her “no, you do it”. The procedure took 1½ hours to complete. The Defendants denied that the midwife was unable to tackle the suturing.
G was discharged from Hospital on 28 December and was seen by the community midwife who removed two of the sutures which she said had been poorly inserted.
On 15 January 1999, G saw her GP and was referred to the Hospital and advised there was quite a large gaping hole.
On 23 February, G re-attended the Hospital. The Consultant Obstetrician advised G to undergo a re-fashioning of her introitus. She told G that it was “very tatty down there”.
G opted to see a Consultant Obstetrician on a private basis (having lost confidence in the NHS). On 15 May 1999, C underwent surgery to have her perineum re-sutured at the BUPA Hospital, Redbridge.
G initially instructed Field Fisher Waterhouse in October 1999. The Trust denied liability (not withstanding that the internal complaints investigation had failed to support the midwife).
A Claim Form was issued on 18 December 2001. A Defence was received denying liability.
On 27 September 2002 we put forward an offer in the sum of £30,000, which was rejected.
Janine Collier arranged and attended Mediation on 8 April 2003. Following this the claim settled in the sum of £25,000 plus costs. The case was conducted on a “no win no fee” basis.
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