Inquiry launched as 'electric shock' blunder raids mum's memory bank

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Health chiefs have launched an inquiry after a botched brain treatment "deleted" a young mother's short-term memory.

Leeanne Simpson, 30, from Glasgow, had electricity shot through both sides of her brain three times after doctors in different hospitals failed to liaise over her treatment.

Since the treatment last month she cannot be left alone with her two young children, cannot remember what happened five minutes ago, and cannot store any new information in her memory.

Her partner Ian McDonald, 32, said: "This has been a total shambles. The system has failed us - this could have been avoided if these doctors actually spoke to each other."

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde apologised for the error but said they did not believe it would have any long-term effects. The blunder happened when Ms Simpson, of Cambuslang, who was supposed to have her treatment at Leverndale Hospital, was instead taken to Stobhill Hospital.

Although doctors at Leverndale had instructed that she be given unilateral electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) - on just one side of her brain - doctors at Stobhill went ahead and gave her the bilateral form, targeting both sides.

Over an eight-day period, the double-sided treatment was administered three times.

After the error was spotted, the couple said the doctors advised against switching from bilateral to the unilateral form she had originally consented to.

Ms Simpson suffers from schizoaffective disorder, which causes her severe depression, and was told that having ECT - formerly known as electric shock treatment - would be "therapeutic" and help alleviate her symptoms.

Mr McDonald said: "She's had ECT before at Leverndale and she was fine. Leverndale was getting decorated though when she started feeling unwell this time.

"She was in Leverndale and they arranged for a porter to take her to Stobhill. They took her to Dykebar by mistake - she was trying to tell them she wasn't to go there but they wouldn't listen."

Ms Simpson was then taken back to Leverndale where she was made to wait for a taxi to take her to Stobhill. She was escorted by a nurse with her medical notes to Stobhill, where doctors administered bilateral ECT.

Mr McDonald said: "Why send a nurse in the back of a taxi with the notes if you're not going to look at them?

"We only discovered she had been given bilateral after the second lot on 5 July. Leeanne woke up from the treatment and said she just didn't feel the same."A spokeswoman for Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board said they were carrying out a review into the incident.

"We have apologised fully to the patient and have reassured her and her partner that we do not believe this will have any long-term side effects," said the spokeswoman.

"Before a patient undergoes this treatment the nature of the treatment is fully explained. A known and common side effect of this treatment can be short-term memory loss of specific events, and this is always fully explained to all patients, and from our review it is clear that this information was given to the patient and her partner prior to treatment.

"ECT is a standard psychiatric treatment used routinely both nationally and internationally."