Stevenage man receives hospital payout after shoulder break

Gerard Sherry who is unhappy with the Lister hospital

Gerard Sherry who is unhappy with the Lister hospital - Credit: Archant

A MAN who had his shoulder broken by a surgeon has received a five-figure settlement after years spent battling the hospital responsible.

The scar left on Gerard Sherry's shoulder

The scar left on Gerard Sherry's shoulder - Credit: Archant

Gerard Sherry visited Lister Hospital in Stevenage in November 2005 after being involved in a car accident which left him with injuries to his shoulders and wrists.

After more than a year and a half spent in pain, a scan revealed the Stevenage resident had torn a muscle in his left shoulder which the hospital agreed to operate on.

Mr Sherry was put on a waiting list before returning to the hospital for shoulder surgery in March 2008.

Instead of solving the problem, the three-hour operation left the 56-year-old in more pain which made it difficult for him to sleep.


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“The surgeon told me they were unable to do the operation because the damage was so severe,” said Mr Sherry, who was unable to work as a self-employed chartered accountant for more than a year as a result.

“What he didn’t tell me was that he had broken my shoulder blade in the operation and closed the wound up. My shoulder was completely out of action. If I made a slight movement you could hear the bones grind from about 10ft away.

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“At first I was told it may be the effects of surgery but I kept telling them ‘there’s something wrong with my shoulder’.”

In July 2008 Mr Sherry’s GP wrote to the Lister surgeon responsible asking for him to be seen urgently. An appointment was arranged in September.

“The doctor I spoke to at the hospital was quite condescending but his demeanour changed after I had an X-ray which revealed a 10mm break,” said Mr Sherry, who had qualified as a helicopter pilot before the accident but is now unable to fly.

A month later it was arranged for Mr Sherry to undergo a second operation at a private hospital in London where the damage to his shoulder was partially repaired.

Afterwards, Mr Sherry wrote to the East and North Herts NHS Trust – which runs Lister – demanding answers but took legal action due to an unsatisfactory response.

The Trust agreed a “significant five-figure settlement” with Mr Sherry earlier this month.

About the ordeal, Mr Sherry added: “It’s a huge relief for it to be over after constant battling for years but I still feel frustrated. The hospital has never made any attempt to apologise throughout this whole process.

“I wanted someone to stand up and say ‘it’s my fault’ but that’s never happened and the whole thing has been a huge waste of public money.

“The settlement is handy but it doesn’t put my shoulder right. It’s a lot better than it had been but I can’t do all the things I want to.”

A spokesman for the Trust said: “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with Mr Sherry as it prevents the need for further time-consuming and costly court proceedings for both sides. We are sorry that Mr Sherry’s experience of our care was not as good as we would have liked and we wish him well for the future.”

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