A HOSPITAL patient who suffered permanent hearing loss from a misdiagnosis of an ear problem has successfully won a legal battle for compensation.

Hannah Buxton, 36, of Kirby Hill near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire was admitted to Harrogate hospital to have a grommet inserted into her right ear.

Ms Buxton, who had complained of a blocked right ear for around five months, was initially diagnosed with an ear infection, and undertook the surgery in January 2016.

But following surgery, she complained that she could not hear anything from her right ear, and felt 'very dizzy'.

Ms Buxton was told that this was normal and due to swelling, whilst she was discharged later that day.

However, after several moths of further ear problems and a sustained loss of hearing, a second surgical procedure confirmed that the grommet had been incorrectly inserted, and that she had been misdiagnosed.

The second procedure confirmed Ms Buxton's original symptoms stemmed from a non-cancerous growth, also known as a cholesteatoma, in her ear.

The Northern Echo:

The surgery was carried out at Harrogate Hospital

A report later conducted by the Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust confirmed the surgeon who originally performed the first procedure had admitted that his grommet insertion skills were 'rusty.'

Upon learning the results of the second surgery, Ms Buxton said: “Losing my hearing in the ear was a nightmare and then to discover that it was caused by the treatment was very hard to take. The revelations about the surgeon who did the procedure are totally shocking.

“To know my care was in the hands of someone who admitted to having ‘rusty’ skills is just horrible – you put all of your faith in the medical profession, but these problems have destroyed that trust for me. Nothing will change what I have been through and it is absolutely vital that these mistakes are never repeated – the NHS must learn lessons from it.”

In response, David Scullion, medical director at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have apologised to Ms Buxton for her care, which fell below the standards we expect.

"I would like to reiterate that apology now – as soon as we were aware of the issue at the time of treatment we provided support to Ms Buxton.

"We take all patient safety incidents very seriously and we carried out a serious incident review, involving Ms Buxton in this process.

"This review resulted in changes to clinical practice –the Trust is committed to putting measures in place to improve patient safety and experience.”