For love of Anne
Family takes legal action after late mother’s surgery
A LOCAL family is taking legal action against a surgeon who was suspended because of concerns over his treatment.
Kettering mum Anne Lovell died following procedures performed by Professor David Berry at Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary between 2003 and 2008.
Her family has instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have successfully settled cases on behalf of other families affected by Prof Berry’s treatment. The Liver surgeon was suspended in January 2013 over concerns that out of an investigation into ten deaths under his care, eight were avoidable.
Anne Lovell worked in midwifery for more than 25 years at Kettering General Hospital and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2003. She was referred to Professor Berry at Leicester Royal Infirmary to discuss her treatment. As the cancer was in its early stages, she was advised she should have surgery and it was agreed that she would have part of her pancreas removed. She was in theatre for more than ten hours and died 72 hours later on October 22, 2003, from multi-organ failure and blood poisoning.
Anne’s son, Andrew, discovered this year after he was contacted by Leicester Royal Infirmary that an independent investigation was being carried out by the Royal College of Surgeons into Professor Berry’s patients and found out that his 66-year-old mother had her entire pancreas removed by him.
Emma Rush, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Anne’s family, said: “Our clients want to know if there were mistakes made during their loved one’s care and whether action is being taken to improve patient safety and prevent any further avoidable deaths. We will work with Anne’s family to gain the answers they need and deserve so they can begin to come to terms with their loss.”
Andrew (41) said: “When I was invited back into to the hospital to discuss my mum’s treatment, it was the first time I knew that Professor Berry had removed the entire pancreas and I was completely shocked and angry about it. Leading up to the surgery, my mum commented on how pleased she was that she was only having a partial removal of the pancreas as I don’t think she would have ever consented to the procedure she was actually given.
“As a family we spent a lot of time grieving over the loss of my mum and with the new information coming to light about Professor Berry it feels as though we have to start the whole process again. My mum’s prognosis was promising and we were led to believe that the operation was going to help her.
“I feel like I have lost valuable time with her and I would like to find out why Professor Berry performed an operation without our consent and robbed my father and I the chance to properly say goodbye to her.
“We will now fight for justice on Anne’s behalf as we need to get to the bottom of exactly what has gone wrong.”