Failings led to nerve damage following a biopsy

Summary 1105 |

Mrs R complained that a biopsy was not done correctly. She also complained that the risks of the procedure were not properly explained to her.

What happened

Mrs R had a biopsy. Following the procedure she suffered swelling, pain and bruising. These issues were resolved but she was left with numbness in her lip and a dull ache in this area. She now has permanent nerve damage.

What we found

The Trust had already accepted that the biopsy was not done correctly and had taken action to stop this happening again. It had also accepted that it had not fully informed Mrs R about the risks of the procedure. These failings left Mrs R with permanent nerve damage.

Although the Trust had apologised to her for the mistake with the biopsy and the shortfalls in communication, we did not think the Trust had done enough to remedy the injustice to Mrs R. The Trust had not considered making a payment to Mrs R when it should have done so. We therefore upheld this complaint

Putting it right

At our request the Trust paid Mrs R £4,000 in recognition of the impact of the failings on her.

It also developed an action plan setting out what it would do to prevent a recurrence.

Health or Parliamentary
Organisations we investigated

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



Complainants' concerns ?

Did not apologise properly or do enough to put things right


Compensation for non-financial loss

Recommendation to learn lessons or draw up an action plan