Botched op doc is still operating

St Helens Hospital at Peasley Cross
St Helens Hospital at Peasley Cross

A WOMAN whose routine operation left her requiring life-threatening surgery has told of her shock at discovering that the doctor who botched her operation is still practising.

Last January, Patricia Brown, 55, received a substantial out of court settlement after pursuing a clinical negligence claim against St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust.

But, during a follow-up visit to monitor her recovery, she was horrified to learn that Mr Shabbir Poonawala – the consultant surgeon who carried out the initial operation on her – was still practising, although not locally.

However, a spokeswoman for the St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust said that Mr Poonawala has not worked for the local trust since 2009.

Mrs Brown, of Prescot, had attended St Helens Hospital to have painful gall stones removed on September 3, 2008, but, following the surgery, it soon became clear that something was wrong.

She was then transferred to Aintree Hospital for further treatment and her new consultant was concerned that her skin had turned a yellow colour, giving her a jaundiced appearance.

Mrs Brown said: “He explained that he would need to perform further investigative surgery on me. He said he intended to open me up and find out exactly what was wrong. He explained the risks and said that if I suffered from a large bleed during the procedure then it could be fatal.

“I still have to attend regular check-ups at the hospital and my husband is now my full-time carer. Our lives have been ruined by what happened to me when I was supposed to be under this man’s care, but he is able to carry on.”

A spokeswoman for St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust said: “There are recognised risks to this type of surgery which are explained to patients when they give their consent to proceed with the operation. We are sorry that Mrs Brown has experienced such unfortunate complications whilst under our care.

“The trust worked openly and swiftly with Mrs Brown’s legal representatives and Mr Poonawala has not worked at the trust since 2009.”