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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#INCOMPETENCE: Leicester grandmother died "in agony" after stand-in surgeon "OPERATED IN THE WRONG PLACE"

A 71-year-old grandmother from Leicester, who was admitted to hospital for a routine gall blabber operation, died after a stand-in surgeon operated in the "wrong place", according to reports.

An inquest in Leicester has heard that Lalitaben Patel died "in agony" due to a massive brain haemorrhage following the botched operation by surgeon Mudhafar Alhiwidi at Leicester Royal Infirmary in December 2012.

Medical staff became so concerned after Mr Alhiwidi spent two hours operating in "completely the wrong place" that a senior surgeon was called in to finish the procedure.

But despite the senior consultant removing Mrs Patel's gall bladder, the errors made by Mr Alhiwidi - including severing a vital artery - resulted in huge blood loss and permanent damage to Mrs Patel's brain.

Her condition deteriorated significantly after the operation and she died in December 2012.

At the inquest earlier this month, coroner Catherine Mason returned a "narrative verdict", which acknowledged mistakes in the systems and procedures in place but did not place individual blame.

In her verdict, Mrs Mason said: "The dissection during the initial stages of the gall bladder operation was inappropriate and led to a massive secondary haemorrhage.

"This in turn led to Mrs Patel suffering problems after her surgery, the injury to her brain and ultimately her death on December 20, 2012 at the Leicester General Hospital."

The cause of death was given as sepsis, catheter-related urinary tract infection, cirrhosis and complications following the gall bladder operation, including lack of oxygen to the brain.

Mrs Mason also said that the systems in place for assessing the competence of stand-in consultants at the Hospital were not as "robust" as they should have been.

Mrs Patel's daughter Dipika claimed the infirmary had failed her mother in numerous aspects of her care and left her 'in a mess' until the day she died.

Speaking at the inquest, she said: "The hospital failed to diagnose problems, failed to give her treatment, left her waiting for more than 10 hours in a wheelchair, soaked in bile and refused her pain medication.

"We’ve been given a letter of apology, but I’m shocked that these failures could happen in a modern hospital.'

In a statement apologising to the family, Dr Kevin Harris, medical director of Leicester’s hospitals, said: "On behalf of the members of staff who were involved in Mrs Patel’s care, I offer my heartfelt apologies and deepest condolences.

"Since these events we have changed our vetting process for locum surgeons to ensure that they are capable of operating to the same high standard as the surgeons we employ directly.'

Mr Alhiwidi's contract with the hospital has since been terminated and he is currently being investigated by Britain's General Medical Council.

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