Russell, Jones and Walker, a leading UK firm of solicitors, has reported that a mother of two, who was left with multiple scars following surgery after being incorrectly diagnosed with skin cancer, has been awarded £15,000 in compensation.
Kate Andreou, 28 from Harlow in Essex, was referred to the Democracy Department of Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust after expressing concerns regarding a mole on her shin. Following an examination the mole was duly removed for further investigation on the advice of her doctor.
Following the removal and examination of the mole, Mrs Andreou was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma in July 2007 and was subsequently referred to the Department of Plastic Surgery at Mid-Essex Hospital NHS Trust. Mrs Andreou was advised to have a further six moles removed from her leg, chest, arm and back - surgery she was told was necessary. She underwent the operation in September 2007.
The news of the diagnosis came as a double blow to Mrs Andreou who had just been informed that her grandmother was terminally ill with cancer. Believing that she had skin cancer, Mrs Andreou went through the trauma of informing her family of the diagnosis and advised them that they too would need to be checked for cancer. However, it later emerged that the diagnosis was incorrect and that her pathology report was not finalised and subject to further review from Guys and St Thomas' Hospital.
James Bell, solicitor from Russell, Jones and Walker said: "Had Mrs Andreou known that her pathology slide was under review, she would not have proceeded with the excision of the six other moles until a definite diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma.
"The incorrect diagnosis of the mole as a melanoma represents an unacceptable error which breached the duty of care to Mrs Andreou.
"Not only has Mrs Andreou experienced entirely unacceptable treatment from the NHS, but her entire extended family has also undergone unnecessary trauma after being advised to be tested for skin cancer."
Mrs Anreou said: "The past year has been very difficult for me, my children and the rest of my family. Not only were we all going through tough times with my terminally ill grandmother, but we then had to face up to the fact that I too had cancer and would require treatment.
"The surgery that I had to remove seven moles left me with red scars, making me very self conscious about exposing my arms and legs. The scars have now faded but the whole experience will stay with me for a very long time."
About Russell Jones & Walker:
Russell, Jones & Walker employs over 360 staff (over 160 lawyers) and is renowned as the leading national firm of solicitors in protecting the rights and legal interest of individuals and those who represent them. RJ&W has a network of regional offices and includes those in the following centres: London, Birmingham, Bristol, Wakefield, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
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