Having a radio-frequency heart ablation at The Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital has ruined my life. I had an ablation for benign ectopics when I was in my 20’s. I went into the ablation with benign ectopics and I came out of the ablation with a permanent and severely disabling heart condition, caused by the ablation. I have been told by consultants that this post-ablation heart condition is also likely to cause cardiomyopathy, left ventricular dysfunction and a significant reduction of my life expectancy. I am a highly qualified professional young woman and what has happened to me has had a significant and detrimental effect on all aspects of my life.
I was fully conscious during the ablation and I have been left traumatised by what was said and done during the procedure on my heart, a procedure which resulted in my ending up with a horrific heart condition. The incidents were disturbing, shocking and appalling.
The Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital encouraged me to have an ablation for benign ectopics and provided me with categoric assurances, saying "nothing goes wrong at this hospital" and "even if the ablation is not successful, you will not be in any worse a position after ablation than you were in before". I was never warned, either verbally or via the consent form, about even the slightest risk of developing any other arrhythmia or any heart condition, let alone one with such dangerous and distressing symptoms. Had I even the slightest idea of the horrendous state an ablation would leave me in I certainly would not have ever even contemplated having the procedure.
I made a formal complaint to the GMC about this hospital to try to ensure that what happened to me would not happen to anyone else. The manner in which my complaint was handled was atrocious and proved that the 'investigation' was a total farce. After causing numerous, significant delays, they then chose to simply ignore crucial and extremely serious incidents and provided a ridiculous attempt at a response in relation to other incidents. Within their response, they also decided to blatantly ignore the independent medical report from an electrophysiologist which was attached to the complaint and which categorically set out the breaches of GMC codes of practice.
The consultants have treated me utterly appallingly since causing this serious and distressing heart condition which I have now been suffering with for 5 years. The consultants have admitted, in writing, on numerous occasions that the heart condition they have caused me to have is a horrendous condition to suffer with. However, because I complained, they have gone on to make me even more unwell, have totally refused to arrange genuine consultations and have refused and avoided to do the most basic and crucial heart monitoring. In fact, they have gone to extreme lengths to avoid at all costs having to see me. They have refused/are refusing point blank to arrange echos for me (despite previously telling me how crucial regular echos are for my post ablation condition and despite knowing that my heart condition is deteriorating) and have refused to monitor my condition with basic ECGS. They have even cancelled and messed about with appointments, refused to have my medical notes available and simply ignored very important correspondence.
The conduct of the the consultants and those involved (which includes breaches of my confidentiality) and their correspondence has exposed their dishonesty and their desperate attempts to protect themselves regardless of the implications on a very unwell patient. Their correspondence contains numerous and blatant lies and totally ridiculous and elaborate excuses, repeatedly contradicting themselves and forgetting the lies they have previously put in writing.
I initiated a medical negligence claim and was forced to withdraw it due to the astonishing and underhand conduct of the medico-legal electrophysiologist experts that were involved. This is a separate issue and one of very serious concern. The Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, in their desperation to cover up what they have done, are trying to use the fact that I was forced to withdraw a negligence claim as yet another excuse for them not to comply with their basic duties in respect of the heart condition which they, themselves, have caused.
This hospital have admitted, in writing, that the ablation caused my current heart conditions and suffering, that the incidents that took place are serious, that my post-ablation heart conditions have horrendous and debilitating symptoms and they have said that there was a ‘complication’.
However, they are also using the fact that I did not pursue a negligence claim as an attempt at another desperate excuse to refuse, point blank, to admit what the 'complication' was and discuss with me the very serious incidents which took place and which caused the damage to my heart.
A patient is entitled to an explanation when they have been left with a horrendous and dangerous heart condition and after the NHS have told them there was a 'complication' relating to a procedure on their heart, which caused this condition. Whether or not a patient pursues a negligence claim is totally irrelevant.
The Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital have recently written to me telling me categorically that they, the hospital who have ruined my life with an ablation, will never tell me what the ‘complication’ was or even discuss with me any part of my ablation. This is despite my being fully conscious during the ablation and aware of the horrendous incidents which occurred, and despite other consultants that I have seen providing their clear written opinions on how the ablation caused my condition'.