Women hurt by conspiracy of silence

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A SUPPORT GROUP of 100 women has been formed by Sheila Wright- Hogeland and Carole Millward, former patients of Richard Neale, who have started legal moves to co-ordinate claims.

Mrs Wright-Hogeland is suing Mr Neale after she had an emergency hysterectomy at Friarage hospital in Northallerton. She had endometriosis, a condition that leads to thickening of the womb lining, and claims he failed to detect progress of the condition despite regular check-ups.

"He told me I was fit and well despite my increasing pain," she said. "After six years I was in agony and bleeding. He [Neale] then said it was the worst case he had seen.

"After the operation the wound became badly infected. I didn't get the antibiotics I needed and for six weeks I changed the dressings daily until I went to another hospital."

She called the Friarage decision to give Mr Neale a good reference "outrageous". She said: "It meant he could swan off to Leicester, get a job and create havoc there. The women he injured are furious - not just with him but with the system."

Dozens more women claim to have been injured in Leicester, the Isle of Wight and London, where he later worked.

Dr Neale performed an episiotomy on Carole Millward, 41, cutting the vagina to allow her baby's head to emerge. Five days later she needed emergency surgery for a perforated bowel and a temporary colostomy to repair the damage.

"I feel thoroughly disgusted and let down by the authorities who, by actions and inactions, allowed him to devastate so many women's lives," she said.