• Patient's lawyer claims mistake 'wasn't an individual human error but involved a team of clinicians'

By Sadie Whitelocks

A pensioner whose stomach was mistakenly removed by surgeons has received a compensation payout

A pensioner whose stomach was mistakenly removed by surgeons has received a compensation payout

A pensioner whose stomach was mistakenly removed by surgeons has received a substantial compensation payout.

The 74-year-old grandmother from Rugeley, Staffordshire, was misdiagnosed with stomach cancer in 2004 and underwent major surgery to have the supposedly life-threatening tumour removed.

But medics later discovered that the operation was unnecessary as test results taken at Cannock Chase and Stafford General hospitals had been wrongly interpreted and the mass was benign.

Her lawyer has now revealed that Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust have admitted liability for breach of duty of care.

An undisclosed payment will be used to finance care and support for the remainder of the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Timothy Deeming, who represented the woman, said: 'My client and her family have understandably been devastated by what has happened.

'She not only went through the trauma of believing she had a life-threatening tumour and the ordeal of having her stomach removed, only to discover later that she did not have cancer and the operation to remove her stomach was unnecessary.'

Surgery for stomach cancer involves a major operation and long recovery period.

The removal all of the stomach, known as a total gastrectomy does not affect the body’s ability to digest food or liquid but after the operation, the patient may need to make dietary changes, such as eating frequent, smaller meals rather than three large meals a day.

Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust have admitted liability

Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust have admitted liability

Mr Deeming said that the error could have been avoided and what was more concerning was that it 'wasn't an individual human error but involved a team of clinicians' from the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

He added: 'Sadly this is not the only case I have personally dealt with where pathology results have been wrongly misinterpreted as stomach cancer.

'When such errors do occur, the public needs to be reassured that the hospitals concerned and the NHS as a whole are learning lessons so that such catastrophic incidents are not repeated.'

Cancer of the stomach, also known as gastric cancer, affects approximately 8,200 people in the UK every year.

It is more common among those over the age of 55, and it is almost twice as common among men than women.