Patient Settles Claim for Misdiagnosed Melanoma

A woman, who was mistakingly told her melanoma was benign, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement for her suffering. 

Joyce Huck, then aged seventy-two from Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire, attended the Bradford Royal Infirmary in February 2013 for the surgical removal of a melanoma on her skin. Joyce was told that the growth was benign and did not pose a risk to her health. However, Joyce was still uncertain concerning the diagnosis and decided to consult her normal GP. 

After visiting her GP, Joyce was then sent for further biopsies that confirmed that the melanoma was indeed malignant. In 2015, Joyce had a further operation such that the growth could be removed, with additional samples from her lymph nodes taken to assess if the cancer had metastasised. Fortunately, Joyce was given the all-clear. 

After the second surgery, Joyce consulted a medical negligence solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for misdiagnosis compensation against the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In the claim, Joyce alleged that she suffered from unnecessary stress and anxiety after learning that her melanoma was misdiagnosed. 

The Trust admitted its failings in care and after negotiations the parties decided upon a five-figure settlement of compensation. Representatives of the NHS Trust additionally apologised for the mistake, saying that it was “deeply sorry” for the stress inflicted upon the family. A spokesman added that “The care we provided fell below our usual high standards and we sincerely apologise to Mrs Huck for this”.

Speaking to her local press after the announcement of the settlement, Joyce commented that “At the time [of being called back to the hospital] I was not told the previous biopsies had been misreported. It was only when I was referred to a plastic surgeon for the growth to be completely removed that I was told the earlier biopsies had also shown cancer. It was shocking to think I’d been living with cancer for so long and it had been left untreated.”

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Patient Compensated for Severe Brain Damage After Misdiagnosis

A woman, whose viral encephalitis was not promptly diagnosed by doctors, has been awarded a £1.1 million settlement of compensation for the life-changing brain damage she sustained as a result.

In June 2009, the woman in question – whose anonymity has been preserved throughout proceedings – was suffering from severe headaches. She visited her local hospital and was admitted overnight on observational grounds. However, as doctors failed to diagnose the cause of her pain, she was discharged the next day. Yet just twenty-four hours later the woman, from Gloucestershire, was re-admitted as an emergency case.

After her second admittance, the medics diagnosed the woman with viral encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. However, it was too late – the woman, who had gone twenty-four hours without proper medical care, had already sustained debilitating brain-damage. She is now reliant upon twenty-four-hour care, and has a severely impaired memory because of the brain damage.

As she was no longer able to represent herself in court, her family made a claim for medical negligence compensation on her behalf against the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust admitted negligence and paid the woman a £1.1 million lump sum of compensation for their failure to diagnose. This was approved at the High Court of London.

Judge Sir Ian Dove, who oversaw proceedings at the court noted that  “Money can never fully correct what has happened to the claimant in this case, but unfortunately it is the best that the law can do. She will be now be comfortable and secure for the remainder of her life, will be able to stay in her own home and to have carers around her so that she can live the fullest life she can.”

Barrister Alexander Hutton QC, a representative for the Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, commented that “We are extremely sorry for the failings that happened in relation to the care of this claimant. The consequences for her have been very grave. I would like to pay tribute to her family. They have been unstinting in their support of the claimant in very difficult circumstances. We do hope that this compensation helps and we do wish the claimant and her family all the best for the future.”

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Negotiations Resolve Cancer Misdiagnosis Clai

Out-of-court negotiations between an allegedly negligent doctor and a patient whose cancer was misdiagnosed have resulted in a six-figure settlement of compensation.

The patient, a woman whose anonymity has been preserved throughout proceedings, visited her GP with concerns over a mole on her foot. The mole had recently changed shape and began to irritate the woman, though the GP assured her that it was nothing to worry about and sent her home.

Dissatisfied with the doctor’s conclusion, the woman sought a second opinion from another doctor in the same surgery. The second GP also refused to refer her to a dermatologist, telling her again that the mole was not something with which to concern herself and sent her home. In neither consultation was the size of the mole checked.

The woman was still concerned over the changes she perceived in the growth and visited a third GP. This doctor notified the patient that she would not be able to remove the mole, though offered to take the top off of it. When the patient refused, the GP referred her to a dermatologist at a nearby hospital.

The dermatologist conducted a biopsy and sent part of the mole away for diagnostics. Unfortunately the results came back to say that the mole was cancerous, and the woman underwent emergency surgery to remove the rest of the growth. However, further diagnostics showed that the cancer had metastasised and the woman is currently undergoing treatment for secondary cancers.

Upon receiving the cancer diagnosis, the woman consulted a medical negligence solicitor and proceeded to make a claim against the first GP and their surgery for the misdiagnosis of her cancer. In the claim, she alleged that if the diagnosis had been made in a timely manner her prognosis would be better.

However, both the GP and the surgery contested the claim for compensation, denying that they were involved in medical negligence. Yet once court action was threatened, the insurance company of the two parties settled with the woman for an undisclosed six-figure settlement.

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Woman Compensated for Dislocated Jaw

A woman, who injured whilst undergoing surgery to remove miscarried foetuses, has been awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation after it transpired the surgical mask had severely dislocated her jaw.

The accident occurred in December 2010, just after Amanda Walker (forty-eight from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire) tragically discovered that she had miscarried twins. Shortly after hearing this news, she was scheduled to attend an operation at the Harrogate District Hospital such that the foetuses could be remove. Yet, upon awaking after the operation, Amanda discovered that she was unable to move her jaw and that she had a severe pain down the side of her face.

Doctors at the hospital attributed the pain to a pre-existing condition that Amanda had been diagnosed with ten years earlier.  However, when Amanda visited her dentist to investigate this diagnosis, she discovered that her jaw had been misaligned and that she had sustained severe tissue damage. A MRI scan revealed that Amanda’s jaw injury was comparable with those seen in car crash victims. Due to the pain and severity of the injury, Amanda has been unable to return to her job in marketing.

Once the diagnosis was made, Amanda underwent four corrective surgeries, one of which involved the insertion of an implant. Though the Harrogate District Hospital maintained that the injury was due to a pre-existing condition, Amanda chose to consult a solicitor. The solicitor, in turn, carried out an investigation which concluded that the way in which the surgical mask was applied to Amanda was the cause of her injury, and not a pre-existing condition.

Amanda proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation, but the claim was contested by the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust until very recently. However, a six-figure settlement of compensation was awarded when the trust finally admitted their liability in the surgical mask injury.

The Medical Director of the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Dr David Scullion, commented that “The Trust is pleased an agreement has been reached. We have apologised to Ms Walker for the impact this injury has had on her. We conducted an investigation into Ms Walker’s care with us in 2010 and want to give assurance that we have learned all we can from this incident.”

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Man Seeks Compensation for Eye Infection

An anonymous patient is hoping to be compensation for the partial blindness he developed after poor sanitation during treatment lead to a severe infection.

The negligent treatment was carried out at the Ophthalmic Department in the Cheltenham General Hospital at the end of 2015. The patient was attending for a intravitreal injection, an ordinarily routine procedure in which medication is delivered to the retina by injection into the jelly-like substance supporting the eyeball.

However, shortly after administration of the treatment, the patient developed a severe infection – endophthalmitis – that lead to loss of sight in the injected eye. The infection is usually associated with intraocular surgery, affected the internal layers of the eye.

The unnamed patient sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation, alleging that the level of sanitation in the room was substandard and that this was directly responsible for him contracting the infection, rather than it being a routine complication.

In light of these allegations, an investigation ensued that discovered evidence to support the claim. It was found that the area around the sink was very clutter, with dust present in many areas around the room, and that trolleys were not dried after sterilisation. Additionally, clinicians did not follow established guidelines to leave antiseptic on the patient’s eye for at least three minutes before commencing the procedure.

The Gloucester Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who oversee proceedings at the Cheltenham General Hospital, admitted negligence and negotiations have commenced concerning a settlement of compensation for the patient.

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Investigation Supports Claim for a Loss of Sight after a Routine Eye Procedure

The outcome of a complaint made against the Cheltenham General Hospital supports a patient´s claim for a loss of sight after a routine eye procedure.

An investigation into alleged unsanitary conditions at the Cheltenham General Hospital was initiated after a patient complained about losing sight in one eye after an intravitreal injection – a routine procedure in which injections are made into the vitreous jelly-like area of the eye to deliver medicines close to the retina.

Following the treatment in December 2015, the patient developed endophthalmitis – an inflammation of the internal coats of the eye. Although endophthalmitis is a known complication of intraocular surgery, the man claimed that his loss of sight was due to the treatment room being used for general clinics in the morning, and not sufficiently cleaned afterwards.

The investigation into the patient´s complaint was conducted by senior managers at the hospital, infection control specialists and consultants. Although it was found that the room was cleaned prior to all injection clinics, the surface area around the sink was cluttered, and dust had settled on the theatre light and on several other surfaces.

It was also found during the investigation that – due to time pressure – trolleys were not properly dried after they had been sterilised, and clinicians were failing to leave iodine in the patients´ eyes for the recommended three minutes before commencing the procedure. Following the release of the report into the investigation, the patient made a claim for a loss of sight after a routine eye operation.

Speaking with Gloucester Live, the man´s solicitor raised concerns that other patients may develop endophthalmitis due to the unsanitary conditions at Cheltenham General Hospital. Up to 9,000 intravitreal injections are administered at the hospital each year and, despite an action plan being put in place after the investigation, the lawyer claims there are still cleaning issues in other treatment areas of the department.

Negotiations are ongoing to resolve the patient´s claim for a loss of sight after a routine eye procedure.

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Family Initiates Claim for Misdiagnosis of Neck Fracture

The family of a man who died because of an undiagnosed neck fracture has indicated their intent to claim compensation for his suffering.

The causative accident occurred on the 23rd May 2015, when eighty-seven year-old Patrick Byrne fell at his home in Melksham. He was quickly admitted to the Royal United Hospital in Bath, where his condition deteriorated and the pain dropped beneath his chest. Patrick was subsequently unable to move his neck.

Though his family persistently asked medical staff to investigate Patrick’s pain, he was moved to the Chippenham Community Hospital a few days later. After another fall, he returned to the Royal United Hospital.

Eventually, a scan was conducted on Patrick’s neck and it was revealed that the initial fall had caused his spinal cord to be compressed. Patrick never recovered from the resultant paralysis and died in hospital on the 21st October 2015.

Avon Coroner’s Court heard a two-day inquest into the death and ruled that Patrick died from natural causes. This is in spite of the opinions of Peter Harrowing, a coroner who claimed that Patrick was let down by medical staff who failed to identify his condition when it first presented.

Patrick’s family have expressed their discontent with the verdict, labelling it as “bizarre” and expressing intent to pursue a claim for misdiagnosis compensation. Elizabeth, Patrick’s daughter, commented to the Wiltshire Times that “The standard of care my father received fell well below what should have been expected and, if the neck fracture had been diagnosed earlier, he could have had treatment which would have avoided the paralysis and his last months would not have been as distressing. The evidence was there. There were a lot of failures.”
A spokesperson for the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has also issued a statement, claiming that “We would once again like to offer our deepest condolences to Mr Byrne’s family at this difficult time. We acknowledge that we did not always meet our own high standards of care on this occasion and for this we apologise.”

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Healthcare Company Fined £400,000 for Fatal Accident

BUPA, a nationwide healthcare organisation, has been issued a six-figure fine by the Carlisle Crown Court for negligence resulting in the death of a resident.

On the 24th September 2013, Josephine Millard, aged ninety-one, was found dead on the floor of her room in the Beacon Edge Care Home in Penrith. Josephine was killed by falling from her bed, which spurred an investigation by the Health and Safety Executives. The investigation found that there had been many failings in Josephine’s care. For example, though the care home had clear policies on bedrail safety, a pressure sensor that would have alerted staff to Josephine’s fall had been deactivated.

Additionally, the report found that the staff at the Beacon Edge care facility – which is run by BUPA – had not received training in bedrail management, and any required safety checks were not carried out as needed. The report concluded that, across the care home, there was a general lack of “care and support for people with dementia type illnesses” .

For their breaches of the Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, BUPA Care Homes (CFC Homes) Ltd were prosecuted by the HSE. The company, at a hearing in the Carlisle Magistrates’ Court earlier this year, admitted their guilt to all charges.

Once the company had admitted their culpability, the case was sent to the Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing. BUPA was ordered to pay a £400,000 fine for their negligence. The company were then ordered to pay £15,206 in prosecution costs.

HSE Inspector Carol Forster commented after the hearing that “The need for adequate risk assessment and management of third party bedrails has been recognised in the healthcare sector for a number of years. In this case there was a lack of appropriate assessment of the residents’ changing needs and review of the control measures in place to protect her. The measures that were in place were not used correctly in that the sensor pad which would have alerted staff to the resident’s being out of bed was not switched on”.

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Young Boy Compensated for Cerebral Palsy

A multi-million pound settlement of compensation has been awarded to a seven year-old boy who sustained severe brain damage during his birth. 

In March 2009 at the East Surrey Hospital, Thomas Hord was born with severe brain damage. This was the result of a twenty-minute delay in his birth by emergency Caesarean Section, during which time he was deprived of oxygen in utero. However, this delay was in spite of the fact that Thomas had already been diagnosed with foetal distress syndrome. 

The brain damage caused life-changing disabilities in Thomas, who now lives with seven cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Additionally, he can only communicate with others using his eyes. In spite of these difficulties, Thomas lives at home with his three siblings and parents, Christopher and Samantha. He also attends a mainstream school. 

Acting on behalf of their son, Christopher and Samantha sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for birth injury compensation against  the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, who oversee the running of the East Surrey Hospital. 

The Trust admitted liability for Thomas’ injuries in 2011, and proceeded to negotiate a settlement of compensation with the family. Eventually, Thomas was offered a compensation settlement that consisted of annual payments of £100,000 that would increase to £245,000 on his eighteenth birthday, as well as a £2.5 million lump sum. 

The hearing then had to be approved by a judge as it was made on behalf of a minor. At London’s High Court, Mr Justice Warby oversaw proceedings, which involved the reading of an apology by Michael Wilson, the Chief Executive of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. In the statement, Wilson apologised for the mismanagement of Thomas’ birth and “the difficulties caused for him and his family”. The QC for the trust, Margaret Bowron, commended Thomas’ parents for their dedication to their son since his birth. 

After approving the cerebral palsy compensation settlement, Judge Warby expressed similar sentiment: “I would like to express my admiration for the parents’ work and devotion to the care of their son, particularly in light of the pressures of work and family matters, that have no doubt made it even more difficult. The court wishes the family the very best for the future.”

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DDU Pays £1.1 Million for Dental Compensation

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) paid out over £1.1 million in dental negligence compensation for its members last year.

The DDU, a body that can be considered as the dental equivalent of the Medical Defence Unit, provides both indemnity and legal support for its members when claims are brought against them for dentistry negligence claims. However, since 2006, the DDU has reported that there is an increase in the number of claims made against its members that are being resolved for an excess of £100,000.

Just two of the claims made against DDU members in 2006  were settled for over £100,000, yet since then over £5 million has been paid out in six-figure settlements. Eleven of these were made in 2015, and the highest settlement was paid out for a failure to diagnose and treat periodontal disease, which caused tooth loss.

John Makin, the head of the DDU, has expressed his concern at the trend, afraid that both the increasing number of claims made, and the escalating value, will make indemnity more expensive for his members.  “We are seeing disturbing rises in the cost of clinical negligence claims and a surge of claims exceeding £100,000 against our dental members,” he said.

Makin believes that elevated patient expectations and widespread advertising by solicitors specialising in medical negligence claims are to blame for the worrying trend. He points out that the most frequent claims were made for either unsatisfactory or excessive cosmetic treatment or implants.

Some have spoken out against Makin’s comments, saying that they are misleading and that patients should expect a high level of care. A contributor to dentistry.co.uk has also said that, should treatments go wrong, patients should expect that the error be created or be compensated.
He added that it was unjust for Makin to place the blame on solicitors for the increase in claims, as without solicitors dentists would not be adequately dealt with for their malpractice. The contributor pointed out that if the DDU admitted liability on their member’s behalves earlier on in the process, legal costs would be much lower for the organisation.

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HSE Settles Claim for the Avoidable Death of Savita Halappanavar

The Irish Health Service Executive has settled a claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar, who died from sepsis after being refused an abortion.

On the morning of Sunday October 21st 2012, Savita Halappanavar (31) attended the Galway University Hospital complaining of back pain. Unaware that Savita was suffering contractions prior to the miscarriage of her first child, doctors at the hospital sent her home.

Savita returned later that day, when doctors identified that her membranes were bulging and ordered blood tests. Savita was admitted for observation, but was told by the hospital registrar that the loss of her child was inevitable. Anti-biotics were prescribed to prevent an infection.

The following morning, Savita´s waters broke. An “await events” approach was adopted by the hospital, and when Savita asked for a termination on the Tuesday morning, her request was refused because a foetal heartbeat was still present.

By Wednesday, Savita´s condition had deteriorated significantly. She was diagnosed with sepsis and prescribed stronger anti-biotics but, when her condition deteriorated further, the decision was made to terminate the pregnancy. At this point it was discovered that the foetal heartbeat had stopped.

During surgery to remove the foetus, Savita spontaneously delivered her dead child. She was transferred to the hospital´s intensive care unit suffering septic shock, but she became critically ill and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest due to severe sepsis on Sunday October 28th.

Savita´s husband – Praveen – took his wife´s body back to India for burial and, on his return to Ireland, made a claim against the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) for the avoidable death of his wife, alleging that had an abortion been performed when it was first requested, Savita would still be alive.

The claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar attracted interest from all over the world due to Ireland´s abortion laws that acknowledge the right to life of an unborn child with equal right to life of the mother.

Two investigations were launched into the circumstances that led to Savita´s death – both finding significant failings in the standard of care provided by Galway University Hospital. In April 2013, the jury at the inquest into Savita´s death returned a unanimous verdict of death by medical misadventure.

Praveen subsequently left Ireland to pursue his career in the United States and, on his behalf, Praveen´s solicitor made an application for the claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar to be heard at the High Court.

A court date was set for March 10th but, days before the hearing was due to commence, it was announced that the claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar had been settled for an undisclosed six-figure amount.

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Woman Recovers Compensation for the Late Diagnosis of Cancer

A mother of two has recovered £50,000 compensation for the late diagnosis of cancer which resulted in her unnecessarily having chemotherapy treatment.

The unnamed woman from Swindon in Wiltshire visited her GP in March 2009 complaining of a persistent dry cough, a hoarse voice and a lump on the side of her neck. The woman – who had successfully been treated for breast cancer before in 2000 – was referred to the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

At the hospital, the woman underwent a CT scan that indicated she may have cancer of the lymph nodes. However, a biopsy taken after the scan was too small for the preliminary diagnosis to be confirmed and, following a subsequent MRI on her neck, the woman was diagnosed with “idiopathic vocal chord palsy”.

The woman again visited her GP in July 2011 – this time with a larger lump on the left side of her neck, the same persistent dry cough and hoarse voice as before and pins and needles in her left arm. The GP arranged for his patient to have an urgent chest X-ray. The X-ray revealed breast cancer that had metastasised into the woman´s throat and left shoulder.

Six courses of chemotherapy managed to halt the spread of the cancer and resolve the pins and needles in the woman´s left arm, but such was her distress at having to unnecessarily undergo the invasive treatment, that she complained to the Royal University Hospital about the standard of care that she had received.

After the hospital denied that the standard of care she had received fell below an acceptable level, the woman sought legal advice and claimed compensation for the late diagnosis of cancer. An investigation commissioned by her solicitor found abnormalities in the 2009 MRI scan that “at the time and in the circumstances” should have prompted a second biopsy that would have enabled a correct diagnosis.

Despite legal action being threatened, the Royal United Hospital continued to deny its liability for the woman´s unnecessary chemotherapy treatment and refused to discuss a settlement of compensation for the late diagnosis of cancer. However, as soon as court proceedings were issued, the NHS Litigation Authority agreed to settle the claim for £50,000.

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Health Service Contests Value of Burst Appendix Claim

 

The value of a claim made by a woman who was rendered infertile because the NHS failed to remove her burst appendix is being disputed by the health service.

 

In 2008, the woman in question – Sarah Marquis – experienced severe abdominal pains and visited her GP. However, she was then admitted to Homerton Hospital in East London, where she was put on a course of painkillers. It was not noticed that Ms Marquis’ appendix needed to be removed. Eventually, doctors did remove the organ, but by that stage it was already “gangrenous and perforated”, causing such a severe abdominal infection that Ms Marquis was rendered infertile.

 

Ms Marquis’ illness meant that she could not return to work at DLA Piper, a top London law firm, for three-and-a-half years after her operation. After seeking legal advice, Ms Marquis made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who oversee proceedings at the hospital where Ms Marquis was treated. Though the Foundation Trust admitted liability for the delay in removing Ms Marquis’ appendix – and her subsequent injuries – they contest the value for which she is making a claim. Ms Marquis is seeking compensation of £1.5 million, though the NHS say the value should be closer to £300,000.

 

The claim for medical negligence compensation proceeded to the High Court in London, where it was overseen by Judge Robert Owen QC. Ms Marquis gave evidence of how her life was changed by the burst appendix and subsequent infection, such as the missed opportunities she had to work in the United States of America, where she could have expected an increased salary. She will also never be able to conceive her own biological child.

 

The barrister for the NHS Trust, Bradley Martin, read an apology from the Trust to Ms Marquis, fully acknowledging that her injuries were their fault. However, he proceeded to say that he doubted that Ms Marquis’ “burning desire” to have children was compatible with her wish to move to the USA to advance her career, and posited that she would not have done both, choosing one over the other.
The hearing is due to continue later this month.

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Medical Negligence Claim Settled After Doctors Left Surgical Implements Inside Woman

 

The medical negligence compensation claim of a woman who had surgical material left inside her after giving birth has received a settlement of compensation.

 

Elise Cattle, aged twenty-seven, gave birth to her son Freddie in the Hull Women and Children’s Hospital in August 2012. However, for a long period after the birth, Ms Cattle complained of intense pain and bleeding, as well as repeated infections that affected her ability to act in a parental capacity. Her opportunity to bond with her son was limited by the fact her parents had to assist with tasks such as changing and washing the newborn.

 

For five months after the birth, Elise was prescribed treatment by her GP. However, when this continually failed to yield any results, the GP referred Elise to a specialist, who discovered that surgical packaging that is used to reduce bleeding in medical procedures had been left inside Elise after Freddie’s birth. Once it was removed, Elise made a full recovery.

 

Elise proceeded to get legal advice on her situation before proceeding to make a claim against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust for the pain she suffered as a direct result of medical negligence. After an investigation determined that the NHS Trust were completely liable for Elise’s condition, negotiations ensued between legal representatives of both parties. A settlement of £7,500 was agreed upon.

 

After the announcement of the compensation settlement, Elise told a paper that ““when I got home from hospital, the pain just got worse and worse. I couldn’t sit down for days afterwards, and had to use a rubber ring to sit on. I was laid on the sofa while my mum and dad did everything. It really affected my bond with Freddie. I felt like I’d failed him.”
Elise’s solicitor also spoke to the newspaper; “It is accepted by the NHS that these errors are being made simply because healthcare staff and providers are not following clear, simple guidelines.” However, Mike Wright – the Chief Nurse for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, also commented that “when mistakes do happen, we are committed to being open and honest about them”.

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Hearing for Delayed Spinal Abscess Treatment

The result of a medical negligence claim for treatment of a spinal access is set to be determined in London’s High Court later this month.

The anonymous patient, unnamed for legal reasons, was paralysed from the waist down because of the delay in treatment for spinal abscesses in 2009. The treatment was due to be carried out in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but the delay has rendered the patient wheelchair bound and reliant on twenty-four seven care.

Though the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for the negligent treatment, no agreement has been reached concerning how much the settlement of compensation is worth. Legal representatives of the Trust argue that much of the care costs associated with the treatment of the fifty-year-old male patient are associated with teenage drug abuse, which the NHS Trust claims they should not be liable to pay.

Whilst the patient’s lawyer value the compensation settlement of the paralysed man at £3.4 million, the NHS Trust say that it should be less than £1 million, telling the court that the wheelchair has not stopped the man’s “chaotic” lifestyle. They say he still engages in the company of drug addicts and other so-called “undesirable characters”.

Lawyers for the Trust say that the patient has a duty to stop his drug habit, and that public policy states that the claim for compensation should be drastically reduced. The opposing lawyers argued that their client has a dependency disorder, and that refusing him compensation would mean he would not suitable manage his disability.
Due to the claimant’s vulnerability, the judge has ordered that nothing identifiable be published. The case is set to continue for the rest of the week.

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Patient’s Claim for Medical Negligence after a Hysterectomy Settled

A Nottinghamshire woman has settled her claim for compensation after she suffered medical negligence following a hysterectomy.
Tine Grace – aged forty-four from Kirkby in Nottinghamshire  – went to the King’s Mill Hospital on the 13th of August 2012 to undergo a hysterectomy. After the procedure was declared successful, Ms Grace was discharged from the hospital just five days later, in spite of concerns by her parents that she had not recovered enough to care for her two daughters (aged thirteen and two and the time).
A few weeks after the procedure, Ms Grace was complaining of a breathless sensation, and felt a burning pain in her leg. Her parents called an ambulance to her home, and Ms Grace was admitted once again to the King’s Mill Hospital. There, she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. A blood clot from her leg had broken upon and travelled to her lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Ms Grace stayed in the hospital for a further eleven days, and took Warfarin – a blood-thinning agent – for a further six months. During this time, she sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for compensation, stating that after her discharge from hospital the first time, she should have been provided with anti-clotting socks and anti-clotting medication.
In November of that year, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – who oversee proceedings at the hospital – admitted liability for the deep vein thrombosis. They acknowledged that the pulmonary embolism could probably have been avoided had Ms Grace been provided with the adequate preventative materials upon her discharge.
Negotiations ensued between the parties, with an undisclosed settlement of compensation awarded to Ms Grace. After the settlement was announced, Ms Grace said in an interview with the local press that she feared her children would be left without a mother because of the negligence. She commented that “I really felt like I could have died. I was terrified and it felt like every breath I took would be my last.”
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Settlement for Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Compensation Approved by Court

 

London’s High Court have approved a multi-million pound compensation settlement for child’s cerebral palsy after complications at his birth.

 

The boy, who has remained anonymous though is known to be five years old and from Brighton, was born in March 2010 at the Royal Sussex Hospital. However, before his delivery he was deprived of oxygen in utero as the midwives attending his delivery did not notice that his mother had a prolapsed cord. This meant that the boy sustained severe brain damage, which manifested in four-limbed athetoid cerebral palsy.

 

Because of his condition, the young child suffers from epilepsy, vision impairment, speech impediments and involuntary movement of his muscles. As such, the child will be entirely dependent on round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

 

A year after his son’s birth, the father made a claim for compensation against the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, who are responsible for the Royal Sussex Hospital. In the claim, he alleged that the medical staff attending the birth did notice the prolapsed cord, and had his son been delivered just minutes earlier the injuries that he now lives with would not have the same degree of severity.

 

The NHS Trust admitted liability for the child’s injuries in November 2012, and whilst an investigation proceeded into the future costs of the boy’s care, an interim settlement was made to the family. However, earlier this month, the case proceeded to the High Court in London, where a judge approved a package worth £11.5 million for the athetoid cerebral palsy claim.

 

After the package was approved, legal representation for the boy’s family commented that: “We are pleased that we secured this settlement for him and his family, they now have the financial security and reassurance that the costs for his future treatment will be met. We hope that lessons are learnt by the Hospital and their staff so that patient safety in this situation can be improved and each and every patient receives the best quality of care at all times.”

 

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Claim for a Psychological Injury due to Surgeon Negligence Resolved out of Court

A claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence has been resolved out of court in favour of a sixty-six year old woman from Essex.

In 2010, Sylvia Ramsay underwent thyroid surgery at the private Spire Roding Hospital in Essex. Prior to the operation, Sylvia – who has a severe phobia of medical equipment – found out it was possible to have the surgery performed using dissolvable stitches rather than metal clips.

Sylvia asked consultant surgeon Dr Akineye Ojo if it was possible for him to use the stitches rather than the clips and she was under the impression that he had consented to her wishes. However, one year after the surgery, an x-ray ordered to investigate Sylvia´s breathing difficulties found the presence of twenty-five metal clips.

The realisation that she had medical equipment inside of her caused a severe psychological injury to Sylvia. Such was the degree of her panic that her GP was close to sectioning her under the Mental Health Act. Sylvia underwent months of therapy to help her cope with the fact that she had medical equipment inside of her and to prepare for further surgery in 2013 to have the clips removed.

Sylvia sought legal advice and made a claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence against the Spire Roding Hospital and Dr Ojo. The consultant surgeon denied that he had deliberately ignored Sylvia´s request to use dissolvable stitches and claimed that the use of metal clips was due to a misunderstanding.

Sylvia pursued her claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence and Dr Ojo eventually agreed to a settlement of her claim without an admission of liability. The exact amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, but has been reported as being in five figures.

Speaking after her claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence had been settled, Sylvia told her local newspaper: “I know this is not a rational reaction but it is not something I can control. It´s like putting an arachnophobe into a room full of spiders and telling them not to be so silly.”

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Compensation Settlement Paid to Burns Victim

 

The family of an elderly woman, who sustained severe burns in a bathroom due to lack of care, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation.

 

The incident happened on the 15th February 2012, when Jessie King – then aged ninety-two – was in her home in Rotherham being visited by two carers. The carers visited daily to help Mrs King with everyday tasks, such as showering. However, during this visit, Mrs King fell when the carers were preparing a shower for her, and landed such that her back was against the hot radiator.

The carers then contacted Rothercare, a home care provider, for assistance in treating Mrs King after her fall, However, they did not think to turn off the radiator which Mrs King was leaning against. After the specialists from Rothercare arrived, Mrs King was helped up. She proceeded to shower as the carers made breakfast, and then left.

Later that day, however, Mrs King’s injuries were noted by her daughter, Denise, and a district nurse. An ambulance was arranged to take Jessie to the Northern General Hospital, where she treated at the Burns Unit. Skin grafts were undertaken on  the area where she was burned.

A compensation claim for the burns was made on Mrs King’s behalf by her daughter, Jean, as Mrs King suffers from dementia and as such cannot make a claim for herself. It was made against Nestor Primecare Services Ltd, trading under Saga Home Care, where the two carers who failed to prevent Mrs King’s burns were employed.

Though Nestor Primecare Services Ltd denied any fault in the incident, they did agree to pay an out-of-court settlement of compensation for Mrs King’s injuries. Mrs King sadly passed away in May 2013.

One of Mrs King’s daughters commented after the announcement of the settlement that “The injuries mum suffered were absolutely horrendous and we can’t believe that her carers failed to notice she was lying against a hot radiator and that she had suffered severe burns. We are absolutely shocked that Nestor Primecare Services Ltd has continued to deny liability for the injuries and that they have never apologised for what happened.”

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NHS Admit Liability after Mistreating Broken Leg

 

A woman, who suffered for many years as the result of negligent treatment of her broken leg, has just heard the NHS admit liability for her mistreatment.

When Sally Marsh, aged twenty-five of Diglis in Worcestershire, was playing football in August 2012, she fell and landed awkwardly on her right leg, resulting in two fractured bones. Emergency services were called, which then took Ms Marsh to the Worcester Royal Hospital, where a full cast was put on her leg.

As Ms Marsh was discharged, she was told that it was safe to apply pressure to the leg, despite it being in a case. The cast was replaced with one that covered just half of her leg eight weeks after the incident, which Ms Marsh wore for a further six weeks. However, after this period it was clear upon removal of the half-cast that the bones had not healed properly.

Ms Marsh was then referred to an orthopaedic specialist, where it was discovered that Ms Marsh’s bones had set at a nineteen degree angle. The consultant said that Ms Marsh would require an operation to fix the alignment. However, Ms Marsh did not undergo this surgery until nine months after the operation, as the NHS consistently cancelled and postponed the procedure.

During this time, Ms Marsh was suffering from a great deal of pain in her right leg, forcing her to go on sick leave in work and preventing her from engaging in her usual hobbies. Eventually, the operation was performed, and afterwards Ms Marsh had a metal cage placed around her leg to help support the limb. This, too, had unintended consequences, as the cage caused Ms Marsh to contract a bacterial infection, forcing her to go on a series of antibiotics.

Ms Marsh sought legal counsel and subsequently made a claim for compensation against the Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who oversee proceedings at the Worcester Royal Hospital where she was treated. She alleged that her early discharge from hospital contributed to her illness, and that the hospital did not act quickly enough to operate upon her after her casts were removed. Now, as a consequence of her negligent treatment, Ms Marsh has permanent nerve damage and deformity in her leg.

An inquest into the circumstances of the claim was conducted by the Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, after which liability was admitted for the injuries caused to Ms Marsh. Negotiations are currently underway concerning the level of compensation Ms Marsh is to receive.

Ms Marsh commented, after hearing about the admission of liability, that “It’s a relief that at least now the NHS Trust has admitted that it made mistakes and my legal case can move to the next stage. I just hope that no one else has to suffer as I have in the future.”

 

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Ban on Silimed Implants Could Lead to Compensation Claim

A regulatory ban on Silimed silicone implants could lead to consumers claiming for compensation if the same contaminants of the Brazilian manufacturing plant  are also detected in Europe.

Earlier this month, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) suspended sales of the implants after it was announced that contaminants were detected in Silimed’s manufacturing facility in Rio de Janeiro. The MHRA, along with other European regulatory bodies, are already testing the implants to determine whether or not the contamination is recent enough not to have impacted previous shipments or if the quality of imported implants has been affected. Until the investigation has been concluded, UK healthcare providers have been advised by the MHRA not to utilise the Brazilian implants.

Though the suspension of sales may ultimately be unnecessary, the act does not come long after the body was criticised by the Commons Health Committee in 2012 for its failings in handling the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) implants scandal – where it was discovered that the company were not using medical grade silicone, leading to the imprisonment of the PIP president, Jean-Claude Mas.

As the investigation is still in its early days, no evidence has yet been uncovered that would support a person’s claim for compensation against Silimed, though the MHRA have issued a statement advising those with implants to contact the medical provider where the surgery was carried out.

Though the products are also sold in the United States under Sientra Ltd., manufacturers have stated that any damage should be confined to the European Union, as an ongoing medical trial in the U.S has not shown yet made it public whether or not there are issued with the imported implants.

Those who think that they may be affected by this news should contact their healthcare professional, and if you are subsequently diagnosed with an injury attributable to the faulty implants and wish to make a compensation claim, contact a solicitor. They should be able to provide you with updates of the ongoing investigation and notify you about the MHRA’s suspension of sales.

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Local Government Ombudsman orders Compensation Payment for Fractured Hip at Nursing Home

The authority have ordered a nursing home, a general practitioner and the local council to pay a compensation settlement after no action was taken to treat a broken hip at the nursing home.

The incident occurred at in February 2012 when a seventy-seven year-old resident, Monica O’Donnell broke her hip at the Parkview House Nursing Home in Uxbridge after a fall. The nursing staff at the facility failed to seek immediate medical attention for Mrs. O’Donnell, and it was only after many complaints of pain by the injured woman that her injury was brought to the attention of medical staff.

However, the doctor attending to Mrs. O’Donnell was only informed of the pain in her hip, not of the causes and the fact that the staff in the home found their patient incapacitated on the floor. Mrs. O’Donnell, who also suffers from Alzheimer’s, could not recall that she had fallen. A month after the accident, Mrs. O’Donnell still suffered from pains in her hip and was brought to Hillingdon Hospital when she was diagnosed with a fractured hip.

An operation was carried out on Mrs. O’Donnell to replace her hip, but she tragically died six weeks later due to her fragility. Medical staff at the hospital recommended to the Hillingdon Council that an investigation of the standard of care provided at the Parkview Nursing Home be carried out. Yet the review found that the home acted appropriately, based on their own records.

Mrs. O’Donnell’s daughter, Angela Kelly, was not satisfied with this conclusion and consulted the Quality Care Commission, her MP Sir John Randall, Hillingdon Council and NHS England. However, it was the Local Government Ombudsman that was willing to bring her investigation into the nursing home further.

The investigation discovered that conflicting records existed in the nursing home, and the home was fined £1,000 compensation by the Ombudsman for its failure to act on the broken hip. The council, too, was ordered to pay £500 compensation to Mrs. Kelly for their inadequate investigation into the incident. The GP attending Mrs. O’Donnell, Oakland Medical Centre, was ordered to pay £750 compensation for neglecting to act upon the fractured hip after the centre was found to keep substandard records and for their failure to be more curious of the circumstances of the injury. Each party was also told to send Mrs. Kelly a written apology for the inadequate level of care given to her mother.

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Woman with Missed Diagnosis of Bowel Cancer Receives Compensation

The woman, who is terminally ill with bowel cancer, has settled the compensation claim she made against her former surgeon after receiving a misdiagnosis of her illness.

The patient – Emma Cook, forty-one of Stanbridge in Bedfordshire – first brought her condition to the attention of medics in 2009, when she visited her GP with abdominal pain. There, she was diagnosed with an infection of her urinary tract and prescribed a course of antibiotics. Yet her condition progressed and she suffered from vomiting, diarrhoea and a fever. She was referred to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Dr James Tweedie, a consultant surgeon, treated Mrs Cook at the facility, suspecting that her symptoms could indicate a urinary tract infection, a cyst on her ovaries or appendicitis. An ultrasound was carried out, and a mass on Mrs Cook’s appendix was observed. Mrs Cook was then put on antibiotics in preparation for an appendectomy.

The antibiotics eased Mrs Cook’s condition such that she was released from hospital in December of that year without the aforementioned appendectomy being carried out. Mrs Cook had review sessions with Dr Tweedie on two occasions after the discharge, but there was no advice for follow-up treatments.

Mrs Cook then emigrated to Australia with her husband and their three young children, where she began to experience more abdominal pains. Her GP carried out tests and made the diagnosis of advanced bowel cancer that February. Mrs Cook then sought legal counsel, making a claim for her misdiagnosis by Dr Tweedie. She claimed that, due to difficulties in differentiating between infections of the lower abdomen and bowel cancer, Dr Tweedie should have been more thorough and conducted a colonoscopy. Had this shown that the patient had bowel cancer, she would have received adequate treatment to prevent metastasis – cancer spreading around the body.

However, before the case could commence, Dr Tweedie received a cancer diagnosis and died in July 2011. The claim followed through, lodged against his estate, and was settled for £125,000. Mrs Cook stated after the settlement that “We wouldn’t have moved our young family to the other side of the world, thousands of miles away from our parents and friends, had Dr Tweedie correctly diagnosed me”.

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Compensation Settlement for Ectopic Pregnancy Misdiagnosis

A £15,000 compensation settlement has been paid to a woman after she became infertile following a missed diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy.

The woman, who remains anonymous, sought medical advice from her GP in June 2012 as she was suffering pain to her lower left abdomen. She and her husband were trying for their third child and the woman was referred by her GP to the Early Pregnancy Unit at Swindon’s Great General Hospital, where an ultrasound scan was carried out.

The scan did not reveal anything in the womb, but the woman had two follow-up appointments at the hospital for blood tests and further ultrasounds. The blood tests showed that she had increased BHCG levels, though their were not sufficiently high to determine whether or not she was pregnant.

Three likelihoods were outlined to the patient – a normal pregnancy, a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. The woman had suffered two prior ectopic pregnancies; one resulted in the removal of a fallopian tube, whilst the second was treated successfully with methotrexate.

More scans and blood tests were carried out, and the woman was asked to return to the hospital ten days later for a laparoscopy, a procedure used to examine abdominal organs. The woman was then informed that the blood tests indicated that she had an ectopic pregnancy. When she arrived at the hospital for treatment, she was told by doctors that her remaining fallopian tube would need to be removed, rendering her infertile.

Following the procedure, the woman sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a compensation claim for the misdiagnosis of her ectopic pregnancy. She stated the the medical practitioners should have diagnosed her condition earlier, given her history of such pregnancies and carried out a treatment of methotrexate. She claimed that this would have prevented the damage to her fallopian tube that meant it could only be removed, leaving her still fertile and able to try for another child. The hospital conceded to the error, and out-of-court negotiations lead to an agreement that a settlement for the misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy be settled for £15,000.

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Compensation Settlement for Birth Injuries Awarded

 

A compensation claim, made on behalf of a boy who sustained severe birth injuries because of medical negligence, was approved by the High Court in Leeds earlier this week. 
When Kit van Berckel was born at the Harrogate District Hospital on the 31st May 2008, he was ten days overdue. However, Kit was born with severe brain damage because of medical staff’s inability to correctly diagnose that Kit was suffering from foetal distress in the womb. When he was born, Kit had no heartbeat and needed to be resuscitated.
As he was deprived of oxygen, Kit’s brain damage was extensive and he has permanent disabilities. Kit, now seven, cannot sit up unassisted, needs help moving and cannot feed himself. Though he cannot communicate verbally, Kit is able to attend mainstream education because of hi-tech devices that enable him to use his eyes to communicate.
Kit – now aged seven – is a minor, so in order to claim compensation for his injuries he had to make a claim through his parents, Joanna and Charles Berckel. In the claim against the Harrogate Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, it was alleged that Kit’s present condition could have been avoided if it were not for the doctor’s negligence. An investigation into Kit’s birth ensued, after which the NHS Trust admitted full liability.
Negotiations began between the parties, and a £9.872 million was agreed upon. Though this is to cover Kit’s rehabilitation and care needs, he will continue to live with his family in their specially adapted home. The settlement needed to be approved by a judge before it was awarded, and it was approved in the Leeds High Court earlier this week.
Speaking after the announcement of the claim, Kit’s mother commented that “We were devastated and heartbroken when we found out that Kit’s condition could have been avoided if mistakes had not been made during his delivery.  There needs to be a fundamental overhaul of accountability and management procedures to minimise the opportunity of negligence caused by medical staff.”
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Claim for Laparoscopy Negligence Resolved at Court

A claim for laparoscopy negligence has been resolved at a hearing of the High Court in London with the approval of a multi-million pound compensation settlement.

In March 2010, the claimant – who wishes to remain anonymous – was admitted to the Hope Hospital in Manchester to undergo a laparoscopy procedure to remove a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. At the age of 22, the woman worked as a hairdresser, was in a serious relationship and had an active social life.

However, during the laparoscopy procedure, the woman´s aorta was punctured. The patient suffered such significant blood loss that her circulation collapsed and her heart stopped. During the medical emergency, the woman´s brain was starved of oxygen and she is now permanently brain damaged.

Due to the brain damage, the woman is unable to represent herself legally and a claim for laparoscopy negligence was made on her behalf by her mother. In 2012 the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability and a hearing was scheduled to determine how much compensation for laparoscopy negligence the woman should receive.

Before the hearing could take place, a settlement of the claim for laparoscopy negligence was negotiated. The deal involved a lump-sum payment of £2 million plus annual index-linked payments for the rest of the woman´s life. Like all claims made on behalf of claimants unable to represent themselves, before the settlement could be finalized it had to be approved by a judge.

Consequently at the High Court in London, Mrs Justice Swift was told about the circumstances that led to the woman´s catastrophic brain injury. The judge heard how the claimant depends on a wheelchair for her mobility, has severe cognitive deficits and will always require 24-hour care. An apology was also read to the court on behalf of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

Approving the settlement of the claim for laparoscopy negligence, Mrs Justice Swift commented that the claimant (now 27 years old) was generally cheerful and had a good sense of humour and said: “I hope that this substantial settlement will at least ensure she has the best possible quality of life in the years to come and I wish her and the other members of her family the very best for the future”.

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Court Settles Claim for Cerebral Palsy Sufferer

The Birmingham High Court have settled a claim for a seven-year-old boy afflicted with athetoid cerebral palsy.

When Daniel Spencer’s mother, Sue, was pregnant with her son in 2002, her placenta ruptured during her labour. As a result, Daniel was deprived of oxygen in utero, and sustained damage to his brain. When he was born, he was diagnosed with severe athetoid cerebral palsy.

His brain damage means that Daniel has very limited use of his limbs; he cannot walk without assistance and struggles with learning difficulties and will be reliant on round-the-clock care for the rest of his life. Even so, his parents describe Daniel as “a wonderful boy” and he continually surprises them with the progress that he makes to overcome his difficulties.

Daniel made a claim for his cerebral palsy through his father, Oliver Spencer, against the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. He claimed that the injuries he sustained would have been avoided had his foetal heartrate been adequately monitored throughout his mother’s labour.

The defendant conceded seventy-five percent liability for the injuries, and a settlement was negotiated consisting a £2.7 million  lump sum and annual, index-linked payments of £116,000. These payments will be raised to £157,000 when Daniel turns eighteen.

As the claim was being made on behalf of a child, a judge had to approve the settlement negotiated between the parties to ensure that it was in the child’s best interest. The judge at the Birmingham High Court did approve the settlement, and Daniel’s father stated, after the settlement was approved, that “We were devastated when we found out that Daniel’s condition could have been avoided had mistakes not been made during his birth. It’s a huge relief knowing that the settlement will provide for a secure future for Daniel and that his specialist care needs will be met for the rest of his life. While we will always help out where we can, he needs the support of experts in the field who can help him to achieve as independent a life as possible.”

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Costs Awarded against NHS after Nine-Year Cancer Misdiagnosis Case

More than £1 million pounds costs have been awarded against the NHS after a nine-year cancer misdiagnosis case was settled for £91,300.

In November 2006, David O´Reilly from Chichester in Sussex died from metastatic colorectal cancer – five years after a lesion in his colon was overlooked by a consultant conducting an endoscopy. A second medical opinion the following year misdiagnosed David´s symptoms as bowel cancer when there was still time to treat his condition and prolong his life.

Following David´s death, his widow – Sue – made a compensation claim against the NHS for the premature death of her husband and the emotional trauma she had suffered. Sue also had to move back to her family´s home in Australia so that she could get support caring for her youngest child – Shane – who suffered from cerebral palsy.

Once settled in Australia, Sue applied for the cancer misdiagnosis case to be heard in New South Wales. The NHS Trust objected to the transfer of the case, but – as Sue was unable to travel to the UK while caring for her son – the New South Wales Supreme Court agreed to Sue´s request in 2010. Sadly, soon after the medical negligence case got underway, Shane died due to complications related to his cerebral palsy.

With Sue now able to travel, the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust requested that the medical negligence case to be transferred back to the UK. The judge presiding over the case – Mr Justice Peter Garling – agreed to the application, and was made a temporary examiner by the Royal Court of Justice so that he could continue hearing the medical negligence claim in the UK.

When the medical negligence case was concluded, Judge Garling found in Sue´s favour and awarded her £91,300 compensation for the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust´s breach in its duty of care.  However, the legal costs of pursuing the claim had run into millions, and the NHS Trust contested that it should not be liable for the full amount.

A proposal was entered that the NHS Trust should only pay 25% of Sue´s legal fees – a proposal that would have bankrupted Sue if it was upheld. However, Judge Garling dismissed the NHS Trust´s argument, and awarded the full amount of the costs of the medical negligence case against the NHS for the misdiagnosis of cancer against the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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Family Lodges Claim for Misdiagnosis of Cervical Cancer

A claim has been lodged by the  widower of a woman who died of cervical cancer shortly after giving birth to the couple’s second child.

The woman, Louisa Foster of Granborough in Buckinghamshire, went for a routine smear test at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 2008. She was told that her test results were normal, and in 2010 underwent IVF to conceive her second child.

Ms Foster gave birth to a son on the 1st December 2010, though shortly after this Ms Foster experienced pain and discomfort in her abdomen. Yet when she returned to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, they told her that the pain was likely due to the Caesarean Section or a possible infection.

Ms Foster saw a series of junior doctors, who would prescribe her antibiotics or tell her to take paracetamol. In April 2011, Ms Foster eventually saw a specialist, who diagnosed her with an advanced tumor in her cervix.

The diagnosis was followed with two years of treatment at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. The treatment included harsh, intensive chemotherapy and a hysterectomy, but the cancer was too advanced and Ms Foster tragically died aged thirty-five in June 2013.


Ms Foster’s surviving husband, Graeme, sought legal counsel for the misdiagnosis and made a compensation claim. He stated that the doctors attending Ms Foster all but ignored her rapid weight lost, or attributed it to the fact that she was breast feeding her son. He also stated that their first child was born by Caesarean Section, and as such they knew that the pain his wife was experiencing was not ordinary. By making a compensation claim against the Buckingham Healthcare NHS Trust, he hopes that such a misdiagnosis will not happen in the future. He stated that: “It has been a long, long haul and taken a lot out of us all, but now on behalf of our children and other women who may be going through the same situation I’m hoping to get to the bottom of what happened.”

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Landmark Case Changes Rules for Birth Injury Compensation Claims

A landmark case has potentially changed the rules for birth injury compensation claims when a mother is not given the level of risk associated with a specific course of action.

The case in question is Montgomery v. Lanarkshire Health Board, which was brought by Nadine Montgomery of behalf of her son Sam, who was born at the Bellshill Maternity Hospital in Lanarkshire suffering from a brachial plexus injury and cerebral palsy.

Despite everything being done at the hospital to ensure the delivery of a healthy child, Nadine claimed that she had not been given the option of a Caesarean Section delivery despite women suffering from Type 1 diabetes being more likely to have bigger children.

Nadine alleged that her consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist – Dr Dina McLellan – should have advised her of the risks of delivering her son naturally, especially as Nadine is only five feet tall and petite in stature.

Dr McLellan denied that she had been negligent in failing to offer the option of a delivery by Caesarean Section, saying it was “not in the maternal interests for women to have Caesarean Sections” when there was not a “a high probability of a grave outcome”.

When the case went to the Outer House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, judges heard that there had only been a 9% – 10% chance of Sam suffering shoulder dystocia during his delivery, and Nadine´s claim against NHS Lanarkshire was dismissed. Nadine appealed to the higher Inner House of the Court of Session, but her case was also dismissed.

Undeterred, Nadine took her case to the Supreme Court in London, where a panel of judges overturned the Edinburgh courts´ interpretation of the rules for birth injury compensation claims and awarded Nadine £5.25 million compensation.

In a written verdict Lord Kerr and Lord Reed commented “There can be no doubt that it was incumbent on Dr McLellan to advise Mrs Montgomery of the risk of shoulder dystocia if she were to have her baby by vaginal delivery, and to discuss with her the alternative of delivery by caesarean section.”

The judges also stated that there was no medical evidence to support Dr McLellan´s statement that it was “not in the maternal interests for women to have Caesarean Sections” and said that social and legal developments “point away from the relationship between the doctor and patient based on medical paternalism”.

Changing not only the rules for birth injury compensation claims but also the course of future doctor-patient relationships and what might be considered as “informed consent”, the judges added “it would be a mistake to view patients in the modern world as uninformed, incapable of understanding medical matters or wholly dependent upon a flow of information from doctors.”

The Supreme Court ruling is significant inasmuch as patients will now have the right to be advised of all possible treatments and to decide for themselves the levels of risk they are prepared to accept – a ruling welcomed by Niall Dickson – the Chief Executive of the General Medical Council – who said “We are pleased that the court has endorsed the ­approach advocated in our ­guidance on consent. [Doctors] must work in partnership with their patients, listening to their views and giving them the information they want and need to make decisions.”

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Young Girl Receives Six-Figure Compensation Payment for Birth Injuries

London’s High Court have approved a compensation settlement for birth injuries sustained by an seven-year-old girl for £10 million.

In April 2007, Ayla Ellison was born at the Furness General Hospital in Cumbria. She was deprived of oxygen in utero, and during her delivery, Ayla was injured due to the negligence of the medical staff, which involved a haemorrhage in the womb.

Nearly eight years on, Ayla suffers from epilepsy, quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is effectively blind, leading her to be tube-fed. Ayla’s body cannot correctly regulate its own temperature and she suffers extremely painful muscle spasms. The pain can only be lessened by entering a hydrotherapy pool.

Through her father, Daniel, Ayla has made a claim for compensation against the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust conceded in 2012 that there was mismanagement of Ayla’s delivery, and subsequently negotiations began concerning how much compensation Ayla should be entitled to. A sum was settled upon, and as the claim was being made on behalf of a minor, the case went to the High Court in London where a judge would have to approve the figure, ensuring that it was in Ayla’s best interest.

The case was heard by Mr Justice Warby at the High Court, where an apology was read from David Walker, the medical director at the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. Judge Warby also heard that the family intended to move to London for Mr Ellison’s engineering job, and that part of the settlement included £1.7million for the family to buy a house with an existing hydrotherapy pool in Richmond. He stated that “I have no hesitation in accepting that the stated intention of Carla and Daniel Elliston to move to London to build a new family life there is a sincere, genuine and heartfelt one.”

The remainder of the settlement consisted of an immediate lump sum of £295,000 and annual, tax-free and index-linked payments of £225,000. There payments would be raised to £290,000 upon Ayla’s eighteenth birthday. Judge Warby approved the settlement, and commended Ayla’s parents for how they handled the tragedy with care and intelligence.

 

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Settlement of Compensation for Cerebral Palsy due to Hospital Negligence Approved at High Court

A settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence – estimated to have a value of £10 million – has been approved by a judge at the High Court in London.

Ayla Ellison was born in April 2007 at the Furness General Hospital, after having been starved of oxygen in the womb and suffering devastating birth injuries. Now seven years of age, Ayla suffers from severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She is almost completely blind and has to be fed via a tube. Ayla also experiences dreadful and painful muscle spasms, for which the only remedy is to be immersed in a hydrotherapy pool.

On their daughter´s behalf, Daniel and Carla Ellison from Ulverston in Cumbria claimed compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence from the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The NHS Trust acknowledged liability in 2012 and admitted that errors had been made in the management of Ayla´s birth. The NHS trust started making interim payments of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence while an assessment into Ayla´s future needs was conducted.

When a settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence was agreed, the case went to the High Court in London for approval. At the High Court an apology was read to the family by David Walker – the Medical Director of the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust – in which the NHS Trust said it sincerely regretted the injuries that Ayla had suffered and the distress caused to her family.

Mr Justice Warby heard that, as part of the settlement, the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust had agreed to fund the purchase a home in Richmond so that Daniel could continue his job in the capital as a consultant engineer and remain close to his family. The remainder of the settlement included a lump sum of £295,000 and annual tax-free, index-linked payments for the extent of Ayla´s life – a settlement with an estimated value of £10 million.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence and commended Ayla´s parents for the “calm and intelligent” manner in which they had coped with their daughter´s birth injuries. Mr Justice Warby also commented “I have no hesitation in accepting that the stated intention of Daniel and Carla Elliston to move to London to build a new family life there is a sincere, genuine and heartfelt one.”

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Compensation Claim for Birth Injuries has Resulted in £10.1 Million Settlement

The claim, made against King’s College Hospital, for a girl who was deprived of oxygen at birth, has been resolved at London’s High Court.

In October 2007, Eva Totham was born in the King’s College Hospital after being deprived of oxygen in the womb due to negligence of the attending medical staff. As a result, the now seven-year-old Eva, from South-East London, suffers from cerebral palsy that restricts the movements of all of her limbs and renders her unable to speak.

Despite attending a mainstream school, Eva must receive one-on-one education support and often experiences dramatic mood swings because of her inability to communicate. These, coupled with her learning disabilities, have greatly impacted her family life, causing much disruption.. 

Eva’s parents made a compensation claim against the hospital of their daughter’s birth, and after an investigation into the circumstances of the incident was completed, the King’s College Hospital NHS Trust conceded liability for the inadequate standard of care received during Eva’s birth.

Yet the Trust contested how much compensation the family were entitled to based upon Eva’s current and future suffering, and the loss of enjoyment in Eva’s life. They set a maximum cap of £8.7 million, and the case consequently proceeded to London’s High Court.

The hearing was presided by Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing, who was shown a DVD detailing an average day in Eva’s life, highlighting how she struggled with everyday tasks. It was also noted that both of Eva’s parents were highly successful professionals, and as such it was likely that, had she not sustained the birth injuries that she did, it would have been likely that Eva followed in their footsteps, going to university and having a professional career.

The judge awarded Eva a settlement of £10.1 million, deeming the previous figure inadequate for her situation, which will cover the costs of her care and her future loss of earnings. The judge also noted that she found it evident that Eva’s mind was bright and creative, though her body would not let her do what she willed it to. 

 

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Family Claims Compensation for a Kernicterus Birth Injury due to a Failure to Treat Newborn Jaundice

A family from Devon is claiming compensation for a kernicterus birth injury which left their son brain damaged and needing life-long care.

Khan Gold from Honiton in Devon was born at the Exeter Hospital on April 15th 2013 – a perfectly healthy child although, not uncommonly, suffering from jaundice. He was allowed home with his mother Laura-Faye the following day, and was visited by three different midwives over the next four days who assured Laura-Faye that Khan´s continuing jaundice was nothing to worry about.

However, on April 20th, Laura-Faye noticed that her son was arching his back as if in pain. She was advised to bring him into the hospital, where Khan was diagnosed with kernicterus and transferred to intensive care. Khan was given an immediate blood transfusion, but the bilirubin that Khan´s underdeveloped liver had failed to remove from his blood stream had entered his brain and he is now permanently brain damaged.

Khan is likely to be severely disabled and need care for the rest of his life. Doctors are uncertain whether the little boy will ever be able to walk or talk and – after taking legal advice – the family made a claim for compensation for a kernicterus birth injury against the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust on the grounds that the only advice they were given by midwives prior to Khan´s admission to hospital was to expose him to the sun.

In their claim for compensation for a kernicterus birth injury, Khan´s parents allege that midwives failed to follow NHS guidelines on the treatment of newborn jaundice and should have escalated the situation in a timely way to the family´s GP or the hospital paediatrician. Solicitors representing the Gold family have also suggested that there were training issues at the hospital which need to be addressed.

Angela Pedder – the Chief Executive of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust – has written to the family apologising for the failures which led to Khan developing kernicterus. Since Khan was diagnosed with the illness, key changes have been made at the Exeter Hospital which include that all babies born with jaundice should be tested for kernicterus.

Negotiations are ongoing in respect of the family´s claim for compensation for a kernicterus birth injury, with the final settlement expected to be in seven figures.

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Compensation for Hypoxia Injuries at Birth Approved at the High Court

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for hypoxia injuries at birth which resulted in a child suffering from cerebral palsy.

The boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was delivered at the Torbay Hospital in 2004 after an avoidable delay in his birth. As a result of the delay, the boy was starved of oxygen in the womb and suffered hypoxia.

Now suffering from cerebral palsy, the boy is unable to independently perform day-to-day tasks and is confined to a wheelchair. Due to commitment of his mother, the boy has learned to communicate by eye movement and with the use of modern technology.

After the extent of his injuries was established, the boys´ parents made a claim for compensation for hypoxia injuries at birth and, after an investigation at the hospital, the South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation acknowledged liability and negotiations were started to put together a settlement package.

At the High Court in London, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC heard that the boy is fully dependent on his family for his care and has to fed through a tube. Judge Cooke said the boy had suffered “appalling misfortune” but had the blessing of a loving family.

The judge was told that the settlement of compensation for hypoxia injuries at birth comprised of a £2.17 million lump sum payment and index-linked tax-free payments of £189,500 each year until the boy is twenty years of age – when the annual payments will increase to £232,125.

Approving the settlement, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said the settlement of compensation for hypoxia injuries at birth was in the boy’s best interests, and he thanked the parties for agreeing to settle before the case cost the public purse any more than it already had.

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Compensation Claim for Perineal Tear Injury Resolved Out of Court after Two-Year Wait

A woman´s claim for a perineal tear injury has been resolved out of court after an NHS Trust denied its liability for the injury for more than two years.

In February 2010, Dalia DuMaurier gave birth to a daughter at the County Hospital in Stafford. Dalia´s pregnancy with Isabeau had been trouble-free and healthy, but unfortunately during the delivery process Dalia suffered a perineal tear.

The tear was noticed by the consultant physician attending Dalia and repaired; however, within the following months, Dalia developed complications such faecal incontinence, a rectovaginal fistula and a parastornal hernia.

Having to now wear a colostomy bag and receive regular treatment for her injuries, Dalia (30) from Rising Brook in Staffordshire was forced to give up a career in nursing. She also had to undergo therapy to help her cope with the changes in her lifestyle.

After a medical investigation, the cause of the complications was identified as an inadequate repair to the perineal tear. Dalia took legal advice and made a claim for a perineal tear injury against the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, alleging that she would not have suffered the complications had the tear been adequately repaired at the time.

The NHS Trust denied its liability for Dalia´s injuries for more than two years until an independent enquiry revealed that in all probability Dalia´s injuries were caused by the consultant physician either stitching the wrong location or failing to spot a second tear.

Negotiations began to resolve Dalia´s claim for a perineal teat injury and a settlement of £390,000 was agreed out-of-court to compensate her for her avoidable injuries. The settlement will be held in a personal injury trust to account for the cost of Dalia´s ongoing treatment.

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Several Patients Overdosed with Antibiotics during Cataract Procedure

A number of patients undergoing cataract surgery at the Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay received an overdose of antibiotics during surgery on their cataracts, and as such will likely be entitled to a claim for compensation.

When two patients arrived at the Accident and Emergency Department at the Torbay Hospital on the same day with problems concerning their eyesight, it was noted that both patients underwent cataract surgery on the same day that July. This observation launched an investigation, where it was discovered that the patients had both been given an overdose of antibiotics during the procedure.

The hospital where the surgery occurred, Mount Stuart, immediately stopped preforming the procedure and launched an internal investigation. All nineteen individuals who had undergone the surgery on the 26th July were called in to the hospital for a review. No corrective surgery was needed, though two patients were “seriously harmed” by the overdose, and four others “showed symptoms” of damage.

It was uncovered that the antibiotic had been diluted for sub-conjuntive use (use below the clear layer over the eye), yet had been given intracamerally (into a section of the eye that was much deeper). Though the antibiotic was suitable for use in both locations, the concentration would not have been the same for both.

Human error was cited for the mix-up, and the consultant surgeon, their assistant and a circulating practitioner were all suspended from the hospital. The procedure has been resumed at Mount Stuart Hospital.

A spokesperson for the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group has stated that “We are satisfied that the hospital has learned important lessons from this incident and that it has acted swiftly to make the necessary changes that will ensure future safety for patients.”

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Cataract Surgery Suspended at Devon Hospital due to Consultant Eye Surgeon Negligence

Cataract surgery was temporarily suspended at the Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay after consultant eye surgeon negligence was attributed to several patients being administered an overdose of antibiotics.

The consultant eye surgeon negligence was revealed after two patients – who had undergone cataract surgery at the Mount Stuart Hospital – attended the Emergency Department of nearby Torbay Hospital complaining of painful eyes.

Examinations of both patients revealed that an overdose of antibiotics had been administered during their respective procedures on July 26, and the Mount Stuart Hospital was alerted straight away.  The Mount Stuart Hospital immediately suspended cataract surgery and launched an investigation.

The results of the investigation showed that the overdose had been caused by the antibiotic having been administered intracamerally (into a chamber deeper within the eye) when the dilution of the antibiotic had been prepared for sub-conjunctive use (just underneath the clear surface of the eye).

A hospital spokesperson explained that the same antibiotic would have been use for both methods of administration but the concentration mix is much different and the stronger solution should not have been administered intracamerally.

“Process failure” and “human” error” were blamed for the consultant eye surgeon negligence and the consultant surgeon – along with the surgeon´s assistant and a circulating practitioner – was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

All nineteen patients who underwent cataract surgery at the hospital on July 26 were recalled for an immediate check-up. Two patients were reported as being “seriously harmed” and four others “showed symptoms” of an eye injury. None of the recalled patients required corrective eye surgery.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation was also launched into the consultant eye surgeon negligence which found that appropriate action had been taken quickly to ensure the safety of patients that had undergone cataract surgery. An apology was also issued by the hospital.

Speaking after the CQC investigation, Gill Gant – from the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group – said: “We are satisfied that the hospital has learned important lessons from this incident and that it has acted swiftly to make the necessary changes that will ensure future safety for patients.”

Cataract Surgery has now been resumed at the Mount Stuart Hospital.

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Health Ombudsman Criticises Hospital for Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer

The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman has criticised St Albans Hospital in Hertfordshire for the failure to diagnose breast cancer in a forty-one year old patient.

The patient – identified in the Ombudsman´s report as “Mrs G” – was referred to the breast care unit at St Albans Hospital in May 2010 by her GP. However, according to the report, the hospital failed to conduct the appropriate tests and the woman´s breast cancer was overlooked.

When the woman returned to St Albans Hospital for a second round of tests in December 2011, tests revealed that the breast cancer had advanced to an inoperable stage and had spread into her brain, liver and bones. The woman had to give up her job because of her illness – adding considerable financial strains to the stress she was experiencing about how long she had left to share with her young son.

The Ombudsman´s investigation into the hospital´s failure to diagnose breast cancer concluded that “Mrs G was let down by the hospital” and that her life had been cut short by the hospital´s “serious failings”. The Ombudsman also claimed that the patient would have made a full recovery if the cancer had been diagnosed at an earlier stage.

The Ombudsman called for West Hertfordshire NHS Trust to make a “full and sincere apology” to their patient and to pay her £70,000 compensation for the failure to diagnose breast cancer. Author of the report – Julie Mellor – said “This is a very sad example of what can go wrong when doctors and trusts don’t carry out the necessary and proper diagnoses and tests, and the terrible impact it can have on someone’s life.”

In response, the NHS Trust´s Chief Executive Samantha Jones commented “We clearly failed Ms G and I have offered her my personal and sincerest apologies.” Ms Jones added that the NHS Trust had put mechanisms in place to prevent the same mistakes being made again, and said that consultants dealing with breast cancer referrals had been given additional training.

Last year the West Hertfordshire Hospital Trust admitted that it had failed to follow NHS guidelines for monitoring patients referred to the breast unit at St Albans Hospital. Instead of arranging second appointments for patients who missed their initial consultation – as is required under the NHS guidelines – the NHS trust had discharged them in order to remove patients from their books.

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Boy Awarded £4.8 Million Compensation for Avoidable Renal Failure

A boy of ten has been awarded £4.8 million compensation for an avoidable renal failure after a hearing at the High Court in London

The claim was compensation was made against the Cromwell Hospital in Kensington by the mother of Lucas Tupenny – who had been born at the hospital in January 2004 with a bowel defect. Lucas´ bowel defect was treated by surgeons conducting a colostomy procedure, but during his recovery Lucas went into septic shock and suffered a renal failure.

Lucas had to be placed on a dialysis machine at the age of six months and a year after his birth underwent a kidney transplant. In the subsequent nine years Lucas (now ten years of age) has undergone 28 further operations and spent 149 nights in hospital. His doctors say that future surgery and another kidney transplant is inevitable.

Through his mother – Therese – Lucas made a compensation claim for an avoidable renal failure – alleging that the septic shock was brought on by a breach in the hospital´s duty of care. The hospital admitted liability on 2012 and negotiations commenced to determine how much compensation for an avoidable renal failure Lucas would be entitled to.

At the High Court in London, Judge Richard Parkes heard that an agreement had been reached for £4.8 million and was told by Lucas´ mother “we absolutely think the amount is fair. Lucas has a chronic medical condition and he will need treatment for all his life”.

The judge also watched a video which told the story of Lucas´ life and the challenges he had faced. Lucas was described in court as “enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic and very sociable little boy” and, when the judge enquired after his health, Lucas replied “Good, your Lordship”.

Judge Parkes also heard that Lucas now lives with his mother in Seattle after his parents had divorced. The judge approved the £4.8 million settlement of compensation for an avoidable renal failure and wished the family well – commenting that Therese had shown extraordinary devotion to her son throughout some difficult years.

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Health Trust offers Cancer Patients Compensation for Lack of Care

The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is offering cancer patients compensation for a lack of care following an investigation into the standard of care provided by a consultant urologist.

Twenty-seven patients of the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill are believed to have suffered avoidable side effects related to their care, or have experienced an avoidable progression of their disease, due to a lack of care by consultant urologist Paul Miller, who worked at the hospital between 2006 and 2013.

According to the results of an internal investigation, the patients – who are all suffering from bladder cancer or prostate cancer – were not given the full range of options available to them or informed of the consequences, and subsequently they were provided with treatments that may not have been in their best interests and due to which there is a higher likelihood of the cancer returning.

The investigation into the lack of care provided by Paul Miller was launched after concerns were raised by colleagues and specialist nurses at the East Surrey hospital last November. Dr Miller was suspended the following month while an investigation into the standard of care provided to patients took place, and he was subsequently dismissed from his post earlier this year.

More than one thousand letters have been sent to patients under the care of Mr Miller, with the NHS Trust offering the twenty-seven affected cancer patients compensation for a lack of care. The NHS Trust has also established a helpline for concerned patients – 0808 168 7754 – which is manned between 11:00am and 7:00pm from Monday to Friday.

Speaking about the offer to cancer patients of compensation for a lack of care, Michael Wilson – Chief Executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – said that Mr Miller had not “followed the advice of multi-disciplinary teams in carrying out established and recognised cancer treatments”. He added that the letters sent to each of the patients were “to enable compensation to be considered and paid”.

In addition to working at the East Surrey Hospital, Mr Millar was also employed at the Spire Gatwick Park Hospital in Horley. The hospital´s director – John Crisp – said that Mr Miller had not undertaken any surgery or held clinics at the hospital since his suspension in December. Mr Miller is also subject to a formal investigation by the General Medical Council.

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Belfast Woman Settles DVT Hospital Negligence Claim against Ulster Hospital for £400,000

A Belfast woman has settled her DVT hospital negligence claim for £400,000 after the Ulster Hospital admitted failing to consider the possibility of deep vein thrombosis during the birth of her first child.

The unnamed 41-year-old woman from Belfast developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after her first child was born in June 2009 at the Ulster Hospital. She alleged in her DVT hospital negligence claim against the South Eastern Care and Social Health Trust that she had not properly assessed as being at risk of deep vein thrombosis and that she should have been given preventative drugs.

The woman also alleged that when she subsequently attended Ulster Hospital´s A&E Department with symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, she was told it was probably just her hormones. This was in spite of woman aged 35 or over being in the high risk category of developing deep vein thrombosis which could cause blood clots to form, dislodge and travel up to the lungs where they could be potentially fatal.

Since June 2009, the claimant has had two further children and had to undergo surgery on each occasion for issues related to deep vein thrombosis. She now has to wear support tights and cannot walk for more than 10-15 minutes without becoming extremely tired. She also has difficulty in climbing stairs and has been told that if the deep vein thrombosis causes another clot in her leg, the leg may have to be amputated.

The DVT hospital negligence claim could not be resolved by negotiation, and it proceeded to the Belfast High Court. As the hearing was due to commence, the South Eastern Care and Social Health Trust acknowledged that there had been avoidable failings in the woman´s care, and agreed settle her DVT hospital negligence claim for £400,000.

Speaking after the hearing, the claimant´s solicitor said “If this [claim for compensation for deep vein thrombosis] serves the purpose of ensuring another person avoids this particular difficulty it will have been worthwhile. Any mum aged 35 or over should know they are at potential risk.”

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Faulty Eye Surgery Claims made by Patients of Somerset Hospital

A number of patients at a Somerset Hospital have made faulty eye surgery claims for compensation after a private healthcare company was brought in to conduct cataract removal operations.  

The faulty eye surgery claims started in May of this year when the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust contracted a private company – Vanguard Healthcare – to help clear a backlog of patients waiting for cataract removal operations at the Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

After just four days the contract was cancelled and operations halted due “technical reasons”; and, since the cancellation of the contract, thirty-one of the sixty-two patients treated by Vanguard Healthcare surgeons have reported “poor outcomes” to their operations and are seeking legal advice about making faulty eye surgery claims for compensation.

Operations to remove cataracts are usually very low risk – typically 1-in-400 results in complications – but many of the patients considering faulty eye surgery claims for compensation have complained about blurred vision, swelling and pain beyond that which would normally be associated with a cataract removal operation.

One 84-year-old patient in particular suffered permanent damage to his cornea during a cataract removal operation, and he will need a cornea transplant to restore his vision.

The Musgrove Park Hospital is treating those affected by the alleged faulty eye surgery in its own ophthalmology department, but the hospital and NHS Trust are refusing to comment on the possibility that patients may be able to recover compensation for faulty eye surgery. The Trust has announced that it is carrying out its own investigation into the allegations.

Vanguard Healthcare admitted that the company had received complaints about the standard of healthcare it had delivered and has committed to work closely with the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to establish the root causes of the complaints.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health commented that any compensation settlements for faulty eye surgery claims would be recovered from Vanguard Healthcare, along with the cost of repairing the damage the private healthcare company may have done to the NHS patients.

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Admission of Hospital Negligence in Meningitis Compensation Claim

A family from Witham in Essex has heard an apology read to them in court with an admission of hospital negligence in a meningitis compensation claim made on behalf of their daughter.

Ellie Sutton (now nine years of age) was taken to Colchester Hospital by her mother when she was just eight months old with a temperature of 39.9 degrees. Ellie´s concerned mother – Sarah – was sent home by the hospital and told to return if her daughter´s temperature remained high, despite the hospital´s guidelines stating that any child attending with a temperature higher than 38 degrees should be monitored hourly.

Sarah returned to Colchester Hospital with her daughter later that day; and, after Ellie had been examined by an Emergency Department doctor, was admitted to the hospital with a recommendation that her high temperature be investigated without delay. However, Ellie´s condition was not investigated until eleven hours later; by which time she had suffered brain damage due to meningitis.

Ellie now requires permanent care and, after seeking legal advice, Sarah made a hospital negligence meningitis compensation claim on behalf of her daughter – claiming that had the hospital followed its own guidelines, Ellie would not have suffered permanent brain damage.

Following an investigation into Ellie´s care, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust acknowledged that there had been a failure in their duty of care and that had the correct procedures been followed Ellie would have made a full recovery.

A negotiated settlement of Sarah´s hospital negligence meningitis compensation claim was agreed, and at the High Court in London the family heard a statement read to them by representatives of the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in which the hospital apologised for the errors that were made in Ellie´s care.

Judge Anthony Seys-Llewellyn approved the settlement – which consisted of a £2.4 million initial payment and tax-free index-linked payments of £119,000 every year – extending his sympathies to the family by commenting “In a way this is the most painful day for you, because you have been thinking about what was intended to be”.

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Compensation for Childbirth Care Deficiencies Approved by Judge

A multi-million pounds settlement of compensation for childbirth care deficiencies has been approved by a High Court judge in favour of a seven-year-old boy from Nottingham.

The unnamed boy was born in November 2006 at the Queen´s Medical Centre in Nottingham after there had been complications during his birth. The boy suffered severe brain damage as a result of mismanaged attempts to resuscitate him, and he now needs around-the-clock care as he can neither walk nor talk and has acute learning difficulties.

The boy´s parents claimed compensation for childbirth care deficiencies against the Queen´s Medical Centre and the NHS Trust that has responsibility for the Centre – Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – alleging that their son´s brain damage could have been avoided with competent post-natal care. The Trust admitted liability for the boy´s injury, and a compensation package was negotiated to provide care for the rest of his life.

At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Lewis heard the sequence of events which led to the claim for childbirth care deficiencies being made and details of the settlement that had been agreed – a £3.25 million lump sum to be paid immediately and index-linked payments each year, starting at £146,500 and rising to £230,000 when the boy reaches the age of 19. The total value of the package is calculated at between £8 million and £9 million.

The judge described the settlement as “just and appropriate” and publicly commended the boy´s parents for the support they had given him to date. As part of the agreement, an apology to the family was read by the Trust´s barrister – the apology acknowledging that there had been deficiencies in the provision of resuscitation when the boy was born, but these had been identified and rectified.

The Chief Executive of the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust Peter Homa also spoke in court, saying that the Trust hoped the settlement would provide the family with financial security for the future, although no amount of money could undo the distress they had experienced. Judge Lewis then approved the settlement of compensation for childbirth care deficiencies and closed the case.

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Claim for Failing to Act on Abnormal Heartbeat Resolved at Hearing

A claim for failing to act on an abnormal heartbeat has been resolved at the High Court after a judge approved a compensation package in favour of a seven-year-old boy from North Yorkshire.

Toby Hart from Bedale in North Yorkshire needs around-the-clock care after midwives at Friarage Hospital in Northallerton failed to act on an abnormal heartbeat reading, delaying his birth by 25 minutes and starving his brain of oxygen.

Toby was born severely disabled, and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties. He is registered blind and for the first seven years of his life he has been supported by his parents – Michelle and Matthew Hart.

Michelle and Matthew made a compensation claim for failing to act on an abnormal heartbeat and, after the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acknowledged that errors had been made at Toby´s birth, they started to receive interim payments of compensation.

Eventually a compensation package was agreed upon that will provide care and support for Toby for the rest of his life and, at the High Court in London, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies heard an apology read to the family on behalf of the NHS Foundation Trust.

In the apology, a spokesperson from the NHS Foundation Trust said that no amount of money can compensate adequately for the injury suffered by Toby but it was hoped that the agreed sum will give the family some financial security and provide for Toby’s needs now and in the future.

The family are to receive a lump sum of £2 million pounds in settlement of their claim for failing to act on an abnormal heartbeat, with annual payments of almost £500,000 thereafter. Mrs Justice Nicola Davies approved the settlement, adding “I know nothing can turn the clock back”.

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Woman Awarded Compensation for Fatal Misdiagnosis by GP

A woman from Staffordshire has been awarded £50,000 compensation for a fatal misdiagnosis by a GP which resulted in her husband dying from bowel cancer.

Christopher Goodhead (41) from Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire died from bowel cancer in 2009, four years after his GP had misdiagnosed his condition as piles. The correct diagnosis of bowel cancer was not made until 2007 later; by which time the cancer had spread throughout Christopher´s body and was terminal.

After his death, Christopher´s widow – Melissa Cutting – sought advice from a solicitor and made a claim for compensation for the fatal misdiagnosis against the GP who had misdiagnosed Christopher´s condition – Dr Asim Islam of the Stanstead Surgery.

Melissa alleged in her legal action that had Dr Islam made the correct diagnosis in 2005, her husband could have received timely treatment that might have saved his life. Melissa argued that Christopher had been exceptionally fit, and this would have given him a chance of surviving the cancer had it been diagnosed earlier.

Dr Islam denied that he was liable for Christopher´s death; contesting that Christopher would have died “on exactly the same day or not significantly later” if he had been referred to an oncologist for a specialist review of his condition after the initial consultation.

With no agreement between the two parties, the claim for a fatal misdiagnosis by a GP was heard by Mrs Justice Patterson at the Royal Courts of Justice; where medical experts gave evidence on behalf of both Melissa and Dr Islam.

The judge found that Dr Islam´s poor standard care had probably deprived Christopher of four months of life, but his bowel cancer would have been the cause of death irrespective of when it was correctly diagnosed. Mrs Justice Patterson awarded Melissa £50,000 compensation for a fatal misdiagnosis by a GP and offered Melissa her sympathy.

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Claim for Kidney Transplant Medical Negligence Resolved Out of Court

A Merseyside man´s compensation claim for kidney transplant medical negligence has been resolved out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Robert Law from The Wirral in Merseyside developed lymphoma cancer – a type of blood cancer – following a kidney transplant operation at the Royal Liverpool Hospital in 2010.

It transpired that the infection had been missed when the kidney was screened prior to the transplant, but Robert´s immune system was too weak after the initial surgery for him to undergo a second transplant and he quickly became ill with the disease.

Robert (62) underwent a course of chemotherapy to treat the cancer and it is currently in remission. In 2012 the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit issued him with an apology, and Robert made a claim for kidney transplant medical negligence.

The NHS admitted liability for Robert´s illness, and an undisclosed settlement of medical negligence compensation was negotiated.

Lynda Hamlyn – Chief Executive of the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit – said she hoped the settlement of Robert´s kidney transplant medical negligence compensation claim would allow him to move on from the emotional and physical trauma he had experienced.

Ms Hamlyn added that new mechanisms had been put in place in order that a similar event could not happen again, but a second kidney transplant medical negligence claim is also waiting to be resolved in the case of Gillian Smart (52) from St Helens in Merseyside, who also received a kidney from the infected donor.

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Compensation Claim for Hospital Negligence at Birth Resolved Out of Court

A man from Caerphilly, who was born with nerve damage that manifested as paralysis has settled his claim for hospital negligence at birth against the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Jamie Lewis was born in 1991 at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, South Wales, with nerve damage in his neck and shoulders due to doctors at the hospital using excessive force during his delivery to free him when he became trapped in the birth canal.

The nerve damage resulted in Jamie from Blackwood, Caerphilly, suffering paralysis in his left arm and hand; which, as he grew up, stopped him from pursuing the normal activities of childhood, hindered his social development and made him a target for bullies.

When Jamie was four years old, his mother – Cheryl Lewis-Thomas – attempted to make a claim for hospital negligence at birth on behalf of her son, but was told that legal action was unlikely to succeed and she took the claim no further.

Several years later however, Cheryl was encouraged to attempt legal action once again and when Jamie turned eighteen years of age (he is now 23), he made a claim for hospital negligence at birth against the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Jamie´s solicitors successfully made the case that the delivery team at the Royal Gwent Hospital had been negligent and “in the circumstances and at the time” had failed to follow the correct procedures when Jamie became stuck in the birth canal.

The legal team were able to provide evidence that his mother´s doctors could have used an alternative method of releasing Jamie from the birth canal which “on the balance of probabilities” would have avoided Jamie suffering the nerve damage which resulted in his paralysis.

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – which has now taken over responsibility for the healthcare provided at the Royal Gwent Hospital – accepted liability for Jamie´s birth injuries and an out of court settlement of his claim for hospital negligence at birth amounting to £450,000 was negotiated

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Family Settle Claim for Hospital Negligence after Appendix Operation Claims Life of Daughter

The family of a young girl who died due to hyponatraemia has settled their claim for medical negligence after an appendix operation against the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

In June 2001, nine-year-old Raychel Ferguson attended the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry for what was supposed to be a straightforward operation to remove her appendix. Although the operation was successful, Raychel reacted to fluid from an intravenous drip which caused an abnormally low level of sodium in her blood to develop, and her brain cells to expand.

Raychel was rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, but her reaction to the fluid was too severe for the injury to be treated and she died from hyponatraemia several hours later.

Raychel´s parents – Ray and Marie Ferguson – made a compensation claim for hospital negligence after an appendix operation against the Western Health and Social Care Trust following an investigation into Raychel´s death which revealed that she was one of four children who had died at the hospital where the incorrect administration of intravenous fluid was a contributing factor to their deaths.

Only last year did the Western Health and Social Care Trust admit liability for Raychel´s death and issue an apology to her family.

Ray and Marie Ferguson´s compensation claim for hospital negligence after an appendix operation continued, and was scheduled to be heard at the High Court in Belfast for the assessment of damages now that liability had been admitted. However, shortly before the hearing was due to get underway, it was revealed that the family had accepted an out-of-court settlement of their claim amounting to £40,000.

The relatively low settlement for the death of a child was explained as being higher than the statutory compensation limit of £11,800. Had the Fergusons pursued with their legal action, the High Court judge could have imposed the compensation limit, and therefore the offer of compensation for hospital negligence after an appendix operation was accepted by the Ferguson´s on the advice of their solicitors.

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Woman´s PTSD Compensation Claim against the NHS Resolved in Court

A woman´s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) compensation claim against the NHS has been resolved in a hearing at the High Court in London.

Fifty-year-old Ceri Leigh brought her PTSD compensation claim against the NHS after the events of November 2008; when she dislocated her kneecap as she went to rise from her seat on a bus and had to wait in agony for 50 minutes for paramedics to take her to hospital – unable to sit, stand or move out from between the seats.

Following her discharge from hospital, Ceri left her position as an Exhibitions Manager at the Natural History Museum on medical grounds and returned to live in South Wales. Her dislocated kneecap did not fully recover for eighteen months, and while Ceri was housebound she started to suffer nightmares and flashbacks to the time she was trapped on the bus, and developed dissociative seizures.

Ceri was diagnosed as suffering from PTSD as a result of the physical and psychological trauma she had experienced while waiting for an ambulance to arrive and, after seeking legal advice, Ceri made a PTSD compensation claim against the NHS Trust responsible for the London Ambulance Service.

The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust contested the claim and disputed the link between Ceri´s condition and the delay she had experienced waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The NHS Trust alleged that Ceri had been suffering financial and family problems before her accident, and these factors could equally have triggered her PTSD condition.

However, at the High Court in London, the NHS Trust admitted that there had been an avoidable seventeen minute delay in dispatching an ambulance to attend to Ceri – a delay which Mr Justice Globe commented had added to Ceri´s trauma until she was left in “utter despair”.

The judge said he was satisfied that Ceri´s condition was directly associated to the trauma she experienced while waiting injured on the bus, and awarded her £522,379 in settlement of her PTSD compensation claim against the NHS.

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Hospital to be Sued for Patient Fall out of Bed Accident which Resulted in Fatal Injury

The operators of a Community Health Centre in Suffolk are facing legal action from the husband of a patient who had a fall out of bed accident from which he believes she subsequently died.

Joy Saunders from Ipswich was admitted to the Bluebird Lodge Community Health Centre to receive specialist physiotherapy treatment after the seventy-six year old had suffered a stroke while on holiday in Spain.

Joy´s husband – David – specifically asked nursing staff to erect a guard rail alongside Joy´s bed as he was concerned she might fall out of the bed due to her distressed state.

However, the Community Health Centre phone David the next morning to say that Joy had been discovered on the floor alongside the bed, but could not tell him how the patient fall out of bed had occurred, or how long his wife had been lying on the floor.

David visited Joy that morning and raised concerns about the bruises she had on her face and her incoherent speech. However it was two days until doctors at the Community Health Centre gave Joy a scan – at which point she was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage.

Because of her condition, Joy required care twenty-four hours a day, and – as the Bluebird Lodge Community health Centre was not able to provide the care she needed – Joy was moved to a hospice, where she died in December as a result of her injuries.

David Saunders has now made a compensation claim for Joy´s patient fall out of bed accident, which he believes was completely avoidable and ultimately responsible for his wife´s death. He alleges in his legal action that there was a breach in the duty of care to prevent the patient fall out of bed accident and that Community Health Centre were negligent in failing to provide a thorough examination of Joy´s injuries.

David´s patient fall out of bed accident compensation claim is being made against the security company Serco – which operates the Bluebird Lodge Community Health Centre under a contract with the NHS to provide community healthcare services in Suffolk.

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Girl Awarded Compensation for Mistakes made by Hospital at her Birth

A girl has been awarded compensation for mistakes made by a hospital at her birth which left her deprived of oxygen and due to which she now suffers from athetoid cerebral palsy.

The High Court in Leeds heard how Ruby Curtis from Garforth in West Yorkshire was born at St James Hospital in Leeds on 28th August 2005, having been deprived of oxygen in the womb due to the failure of medical staff to notice that her mother´s uterus had ruptured after medication had been given to her to aid the contractions.

Ruby´s delayed birth led to her suffering from athetoid cerebral palsy – a form of cerebral palsy in which Ruby makes involuntary muscle movements and is unable to speak coherently. Confined to a wheelchair, Ruby has learned to communicate with her eyes and now attends the specialist Percy Hedley School near Newcastle.

After an investigation into how Ruby acquired her condition, her parents – Steve and Lisa Curtis – made a claim for compensation for the mistakes made by the hospital at her birth on Ruby´s behalf; however the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust only admitted that they were “majority responsible” after an eight year legal battle.

A compensation settlement was negotiated between the NHS Trust and The Curtis´ solicitors that will see Ruby provided for the rest of her life. She is to receive a lump sum of £2.95 million immediately, with ongoing annual payments of compensation for mistakes made by the hospital at her birth.

An apology was read out in court by a representative of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which acknowledged that avoidable mistakes had been made at the time of Ruby´s birth. Judge Mark Gosnell at the High Court said that he hoped the apology would give Steve and Lisa Curtis “some sense of closure” before approving Ruby´s settlement of compensation for mistakes made by a hospital at her birth, which will now be administered by the Court of Protection.

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Claim for Negligent Gastric Surgery Settled Out of Court

A woman, who developed a hernia in her bowel after doctors botched a gastric band operation, has settled her claim for negligent gastric surgery against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Rachel Benefer (28) from Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire underwent the procedure in 2007 after she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and her weight had increased to over 19 stone (120Kg).

Doctors at the Classic Hospital in Hull initially believed that the operation had been successful, but the failure to properly close an incision in her stomach led to a hernia developing which blocked Rachel´s small bowel.

Rachel developed an inflammation of the abdominal wall and acute peritonitis as a consequence of the hernia and lapsed into a coma. She spent five weeks in hospital, including 11 days on a ventilator, and had to undergo a tracheotomy.

After recovering from her ordeal, Rachel sought legal advice and made a claim for negligent gastric surgery against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust – claiming compensation for the further surgery she had to undergo to repair the hernia, the unsightly scars she now has on her abdomen and the depression she experienced as a direct result of her trauma.

Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust held an investigation into Rachel´s botched gastric band operation and, before her claim for negligent gastric surgery was scheduled in court, settled the case with a compensation payment of £35,000.

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Compensation Claims for Hospital Negligence against the NHS Increase by 18 Percent

Information released by the Department of Work and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit has shown an increase of more than 18 percent in the number of compensation claims for hospital negligence against the NHS in the past year.

The Compensation Recovery Unit of the DWP is the government department which recovers certain state benefits paid to successful compensation claimants who have been the victim of hospital negligence and the cost of any NHS care they may have received while recovering from their injury.

In 2012/2013, the Compensation Recovery Unit registered 16,006 compensation claims for hospital negligence against the NHS – an increase of 18.4 percent over the corresponding figures for 2011/2012 (13,517) and up by 80.3 percent of the numbers of claims made against NHS hospitals in 2007/2008 (8,876).

The increase in compensation claims for hospital negligence against the NHS was no surprise following the shocking findings of the Francis report, and it prompted a leading medical solicitor to claim that victims of hospital negligence no longer have moral reservations about claiming compensation against the NHS.

The solicitor´s views were mirrored by the Chief Executive of the Patients Association – Katherine Murphy – who said “I think the public has become far less tolerant about putting up with appalling failings in care, but most people only pursue legal action when every other avenue has failed” and Margaret Hodge – chairperson of the Commons Public Accounts Committee – described the figures as “deeply worrying” and stated that the quality of healthcare provided by the NHS was a “major concern”.

A spokesman from the Department of Health commented “Whilst we know the vast majority of patients get good, safe care, the best way to reduce compensation claims is to improve patient safety further – and this is a priority.” He added that the NHS has outsourced help with the aim of creating “a zero-harm culture in the NHS” and reduce the number of compensation claims for hospital negligence against the NHS.

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Lung Cancer Diagnosis Mistake Compensation for Family of Deceased Man

The family of a deceased husband and father have been awarded an undisclosed settlement of lung cancer diagnosis mistake compensation.

Frank Golby from Coventry had been referred by his GP  to Coventry University Hospital in May 2010 for a CT scan after visiting with a persistent cough. The scan performed showed a 1cm-wide nodule present on his left lung, but doctors missed the indications of a deadly tumour and Frank was diagnosed with a chest infection.

Frank went back to the hospital on several occasions as he was suffering due to  breathing problems and anaemia, but the 2010 scan was never reviewed. It was only when a chest x-ray on 17th February 2012 showed that that the tumour on his lung had enlarged to five times its original size that the proper diagnosis was made; but it was too late for Frank – who passed away the next day, aged 65.

Frank´s family took legal advice and filed made a for lung cancer diagnosis mistake compensation on the grounds that, had the nodule been correctly identified in 2010 at a stage when the cancer was treatable, Frank would have lived for at least a further ten years.

After a review of the negligent treatment Frank had received, his wife, son, daughter and two grandchildren were offered an apology by the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and an undisclosed five-figure settlement of lung cancer diagnosis mistake compensation was agreed between the Trust and solicitors representing Frank´s family.

This article and website is about medical negligence claims in the UK. You can read a detailed article about making medical negligence claims in Ireland by clicking here.

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Claim for Negligent Stomach Surgery Settled Out of Court

A woman, who suffered a hernia in her bowel after doctors made an error in a gastric band operation, has settled her claim for negligent stomach surgery against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Rachel Benefer (28) from Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire underwent the stomach surgery procedure in 2007 after she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and her weight had increased to higher than 19 stone (120Kg).

Doctors and medical staff at the Classic Hospital in Hull initially thought that the stomach operation had been carried off without any hitch , but the failure to close an incision in her stomach correctly led to a hernia developing which obstructed Rachel’s small bowel leading to further complications.

Rachel experienced an inflammation of ther abdominal wall and acute peritonitis as a result of the hernia and she lapsed into a coma. This lead to her spending five weeks in hospital, with eleven of those days spent on a ventilator, and had to undergo a tracheotomy operation.

Once she had recovered from the ordeal, Rachel spoke to her legal representatives and made a claim for negligent stomach surgery against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust – claiming compensation for the resulting surgery she had to undergo to fix the hernia she suffered, the unsightly scars she sustained on her abdomen and the depression she experienced due to her trauma.

Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust conducted an internal investigation into Rachel´s botched gastric band operation and, before her claim for negligent stomach surgery was scheduled in court, settled the case with a medical negligence compensation payment of £35,000.

This article is about medical negligence in the UK. If you are reading this in Ireland, you should refer to this article about medical negligence in Ireland.

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Widower Awarded Compensation for Fatal Surgical Negligence

A man, whose wife died after a supposedly routine operation, has been awarded £150,000 compensation for fatal surgical negligence.

In March 2010, Helen Blyth was admitted into Northampton General Hospital for an operation to repair a large hiatus hernia located behind her heart. The “routine” operation appeared to be successful; but at 8:00pm that evening, Helen´s blood pressure started to fall and, at 1:00am the following morning she was unresponsive.

Helen was rushed back into the operating theatre, but was pronounced dead at 1:55am. The inquest into her death concluded that a rare complication had caused the fall in blood pressure and subsequent cardiac arrest; but Helen´s widower – Sydney Blyth – was not convinced and asked solicitors to look more closely into his wife´s death.

Medical experts working on behalf of the solicitor discovered that the surgeon who had conducted the surgery – Mr David Cubbon-Hunter – had used Pro Tack staples during the operation, despite a warning from the manufacturer that Pro Tack staples should not be used in situations where the hiatus hernia was located in the diaphragm.

Using this information, Sydney claimed compensation for fatal surgical negligence against Mr Cubbon-Hunter and the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust – alleging that Mr Cubbon-Hunter was negligent for using Pro Tack staples when he should have been aware of the warning issued by the manufacturer.

After investigating the claim for compensation for fatal surgical negligence, the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability for the error responsible for Helen´s death. A settlement amounting to £150,000 was negotiated to compensate Sydney and his family for the tragic loss of his wife and his children´s mother.

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Hysterectomy Negligence Compensation Awarded for Gynaecological Errors

A woman who lost her child due to a medical error by staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital has been awarded £62,000 in hysterectomy negligence compensation for gynaecological errors in an out-of-court settlement.

The anonymous woman attended the Royal Cornwall Hospital in November 2007 for a hysterectomy procedure, during which it was found that she was fourteen weeks pregnant. The woman was not aware that she was pregnant but, once her cervix had been removed, the continuation of the pregnancy was not possible.

Following an investigation into the procedure it was discovered that the consultant gynaecologist – Dr Rob Jones – had found that the uterus was “abnormally large” but had proceeded with the procedure regardless. Dr Jones has since resigned and is currently being investigated by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists over the frequency of surgical complications during his operations.

After seeking legal counsel, the woman took0 a claim for hysterectomy negligence compensation against the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust stating that, had she been aware that she was pregnant, she would never have proceeded with the hysterectomy procedure. Despite the fact that she suffered no physical harm, it was agreed that the patient had undergone a significant emotional trauma and stress.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust accepted liability for an “inadvertent termination” and agreed that that the diagnosis of the pregnancy should have been made at the point when it was still viable to for the pregnancy to go on. After talking with the woman’s legal representative’s, a settlement of £62,000 in hysterectomy negligence compensation was agreed.

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Hospital Misdiagnosis Compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome Error

A Leicester hospital has admitted that the misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome by a junior doctor resulted in a patient suffering a life-long disability which could have been prevented.

The patient, 45 year old Michelle Chapman from Melton in Leicestershire, visited her GP in May 2007 suffering from numbness and incontinence, and was alerted to the possibility that she was suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome – a condition caused by the nerves being trapped between collapsed vertebrae. Michelle´s GP advised her to look out for symptoms of the condition getting worse and to summon an ambulance if necessary.

Some days later, Michelle attended the Leicester Royal Infirmary where she was advised by a junior doctor that there were no signs of the condition and was sent home. It was only when Michelle´s GP telephoned her to follow-up the initial appointment that he heard of the deterioration in her condition and immediately booked an MRI scan at the hospital. The scan revealed that serious nerve damage had already occurred and that Michelle required an operation to prevent further injury.

Michelle underwent surgery to extract part of the discs which were pressing on her nerve, but the operation was too late to prevent Michelle suffering permanent nerve damage which has left her with numbness in her legs, incontinence and requiring the lifelong use of crutches to assist her with walking.

After seeking legal guidance, Michelle made a compensation claim for the misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome against the University of Leicester NHS Trust – the authority responsible for treatment at the Leicester Royal Infirmary – and an undisclosed out-of-court settlement was agreed between Michelle´s legal advisors and the Trust which will see Michelle able to move into a specially adapted home and receive specialist medical care to help her adjust to living with Cauda Equina Syndrome.

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Compensation for the Failure to Monitor a Mother during the Later Stages of Pregnancy Approved

The family of a young boy, who suffered brain damage due to alleged hospital negligence, has heard a £6 million settlement of compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy approved at the High Court.

Joseph O´Reggio was born at the New Cross Hospital in Birmingham on April 14, 2001, following an alleged failure by maternity staff to monitor his mother during the later stages of her pregnancy. During the period that Joseph´s mother was not being monitored, his heart rate fell and he was deprived of oxygen in the womb.

Joseph suffered brain damage due to the fall in the foetal heart rate and he was born with cerebral palsy. Joseph now needs around-the-clock care and is unable to feed himself or communicate verbally.

On Joseph´s behalf, his mother made a claim for compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy – alleging that a decrease in the foetal heart rate had been identified on the morning of Joseph´s birth, but a specialist had not been summoned until 10:00pm that evening.

In 2011 – ten years after Joseph´s allegedly mismanaged birth – the Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust admitted that Joseph should have been delivered earlier, but failed to accept full responsibility for his birth injuries.

An agreement was negotiated in which the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust would accept 80% liability and pay 80% of the compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy once it was determined how much Joseph would need for his future care.

At the Royal Court of Justice this week, the final settlement of compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy was approved, and comprised of a lump sum payment and annual index-linked periodic payments with a total value in excess of £6 million.

The settlement will allow Joseph´s family to move into a specially-adapted house, equipped with the rehabilitation tools Joseph will need to develop his hearing, sight, touch, taste and language skills, and eye-hand coordination.

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High Court Awards Compensation for being Discharged from A&E without Proper Treatment

The High Court has awarded a one-hundred-and-two year old pensioner £35,000 compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment.

Lydia Eaton from Wigmore in Kent, fell near her home and broke her pelvis in March 2007. Lydia was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham by ambulance, but discharged eight hours later with a prescription for painkillers.

Due to the untreated injury, Lydia´s mobility decreased. She started to develop sores and ulcers as she was remaining immobile for long periods of time, but no help or support was provided for her or her family from the Medway NHS Trust.

Due to her deteriorating condition, Lydia was moved into a private nursing home the following month and, in order to help pay for the nursing home fees, Lydia´s daughter made a claim for compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment.

In the claim for compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment, the family alleged that Lydia would still be able to lead an independent life were it not for the negligence of the doctors at the Medway Maritime Hospital.

The Medway NHS Trust disputed the claim and the case proceeded to the High Court, where the facts of the case where related to Mr Justice Nigel Sweeney. Judge Sweeney also heard that – since the claim for compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment had been made – Lydia had been moved to a more expensive nursing home due to a further deterioration of her condition.

After hearing testimony from legal representatives of both parties, Judge Sweeney found in Lydia´s favour. He said that Lydia´s premature discharge from the Accident and Emergency Department had been a contributing factor in the deterioration of her condition.

The judge awarded Lydia £35,000 compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment, and ordered that the settlement should be maintained in a trust fund to pay the costs of Lydia´s future care.

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Compensation Claim for Unnecessary Surgery Resolved for Undisclosed Amount

A man who underwent an operation on his brain, which would not have been performed if the results of a blood test had been checked properly, has resolved his compensation claim for unnecessary surgery.

Sixty-three year old John Tunney – from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands – underwent an operation on his brain at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in April 2008, after doctors found an abnormal growth around his pituitary gland on an MRI scan.

However, instead of taking a biopsy of the abnormal growth, the surgeon conducting the brain operation removed healthy brain tissue which resulted in John suffering a brain haemorrhage. Due to the haemorrhage, John is partly blind and needs support 24 hours a day.

After being discharged from hospital, John learned that the operation on his brain had not even been necessary. It became apparent that doctors had failed to properly check the results of a blood test that showed the abnormal growth was a prolactinoma – a common and benign pituitary tumour that can be treated with medication.

After seeking legal advice, John made a compensation claim for unnecessary surgery due to hospital negligence against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. After an investigation into the circumstances surrounding John´s unnecessary surgery, the NHS Trust admitted liability and issued John with an apology.

After an evaluation into the care and support that John will need for the remainder of his life, a seven-figure settlement of John´s compensation claim for unnecessary surgery was agreed. John has also requested that the General Medical Council investigate the surgeon who performed the operation.

Speaking after the announcement of the undisclosed settlement, John´s wife – Pamela – told the press: “John’s brain injury has had devastating effects on him. Prior to the surgery, he was a very easygoing person who was always active and on the go. To see the change in him and to know that it was all entirely avoidable is extremely upsetting”.

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Man Resolves Compensation Claim for a Dental Oversight for £4,000

A Tyne and Wear man has resolved his compensation claim for a dental oversight after his solicitor found the dentist´s former insurers.

Fifty-six year old John Turnbull from Gateshead in Tyne and Wear had been a patient of Dr David Stewart of the Glenholme Dental Practice in nearby Dunston for almost fifteen years when, in 2008, he went for a check-up and was told that he had an infection in his lower gum and that two of his bottom teeth would have to be extracted.

John consented to the teeth being pulled out but, soon after the dual extraction, he started to experience a considerable amount of pain in the vicinity of where his teeth had been removed. John tried to contact the Glenholme Dental Practise to book another appointment for treatment that would alleviate the pain, but found it had closed.

John consulted another dentist, who told him that the pain he was experiencing was due to tooth decay and that the two teeth had been extracted unnecessarily. The dentist treated John for the overlooked tooth decay, after which John sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for a dental oversight against Dr Stewart and the Glenholme Dental Practice.

While John´s compensation claim for a dental oversight was being prepared, it was discovered that Dr Stewart was struck off of the Dental Registry in March 2010 and that there were three further compensation claims for dental negligence pending. John´s solicitor was able to locate the former insurers of the Dental Practice, and the compensation claim for a dental oversight was made against the insurance company.

After an investigation by the insurance company and a period of negotiation, John´s compensation claim for a dental oversight was recently settled out-of-court for £4,000.

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102 Year Old to get Compensation for Premature Hospital Discharge Negligence

A 102 year old woman has been awarded compensation for a premature hospital discharge negligence after she was sent home from a hospital accident and emergency department despite having sustained a broken pelvis.

Lydia Eaton from Wigmore in Kent was taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham in March 2007 after falling near her home which resulted in a broken pelvis. Medics at the hospital examined Lydia and discharged her after just eight hours, due to which – it was claimed in London´s High Court – Lydia´s condition worsened both physically and mentally and caused her to be moved to a specialist care home the following month.

Lydia´s daughter, Elaine Griffin, took a claim for premature hospital discharge negligence compensation against the Medway NHS Trust, alleging that her mother was only provided with painkillers which made her ill and lose a considerable amount of weight. Elaine also argued that, as Lydia´s condition deteriorated, she developed sores and ulcers, and neither support nor advice was forthcoming from the hospital on how to deal with the situation.

Judge Sweeney at the High Court heard that, as Lydia lost the ability to walk without the help of others, she was moved to a second care home where she receives constant help and supervision. He agreed with the arguments made by solicitors representing Lydia and Elaine that, had it not been for the negligence of medical practitioners at the Medway Maritime Hospital, Lydia would still be able to walk.

Awarding Lydia 35,000 pounds in compensation for premature hospital discharge negligence, Judge Sweeney ordered that the funds be placed in trust to pay for Lydia´s care.

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Family to Receive Compensation for UK Hospital Meningitis Misdiagnosis

The family of a six-year-old girl, who were told their daughter was well enough to return home when suffering from pneumococcal meningitis, are to receive an anticipated seven figure payout in compensation for hospital meningitis misdiagnosis.

Kate Pierce from Wrexham, North Wales, was just nine months of age when she developed the infection and was taken to Wrexham´s Maelor Hospital. A junior doctor diagnosed Kate with viral tonsillitis and told her parents it was safe to take her home. When asked if they could have a second opinion, Kate´s parents were told that the counsel of a senior doctor had been sought when it in fact had not.

Kate´s parents took the little girl home but, when her condition deteriorated further, returned to the hospital the next day. On their return Kate was correctly diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and sent to Liverpool´s Alder Hey Children´s Hospital. However, Kate had already sustained severe brain damage and now suffers from chronic lung disease, severe epilepsy and is registered both blind and deaf.

The family took legal advice about claiming compensation for hospital meningitis misdiagnosis and sued the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board for medical negligence – claiming that the severity of Kate´s condition could have been avoided if she had been diagnosed correctly. After an investigation into the allegations, Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitted 75 per cent liability for Kate´s injuries and, at Mold County Court, a judge heard that a compromise situation had been agreed upon.

How much compensation for hospital meningitis misdiagnosis Kate´s family will receive will be decided at a hearing later this year.

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Pneumococcal Meningitis Misdiagnosis Hospital Malpractice Claim Resolved

A court in Mold, North Wales, has heard that a pneumococcal meningitis misdiagnosis claim for hospital malpractice compensation has been resolved with Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitting 75 per cent responsibility for injuries sustained by a little girl from Wrexham.

Kate Pierce (6) was just nine months old when she developed pneumococcal meningitis and was brought by her parents to Wrexham´s Maelor Hospital. A junior doctor at the hospital diagnosed Kate with viral tonsillitis and told her parents it was safe to bring the little girl home. Kate´s parents, worried about their daughter´s health, asked for a second opinion and were told by the junior doctor that a senior doctor had been consulted, when no such consultation had been made.

Kate´s condition got worse overnight and the next day her parents returned to the hospital where pneumococcal meningitis was diagnosed. Sadly for Kate, the correct diagnosis came too late to prevent her from sustaining brain damage and although she was immediately transferred to the Alder Hay Children´s Hospital in Liverpool, she now suffers from severe epilepsy and chronic lung disease, and is registered blind and deaf.

After seeking legal counsel from medical negligence solicitors, Kate´s parents made a pneumococcal meningitis misdiagnosis claim for compensation against the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board; claiming that their daughter had suffered due to medical negligence and would require a lifetime of care. After a protracted study into events at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitted that “aspects of care provided by the hospital were not of an acceptable standard”.

The Health Board stated in court that they had said sorry to the family and were prepared to accept 75 per cent liability for Kate´s injuries. How much compensation for pneumococcal meningitis the family will receive will be determined in a hearing due to be held later this year.

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Teenager Wins £1m Birth Injury Settlement for Erb’s Palsy

A teenage girl, who suffered an Erb’s Palsy injury due to alleged negligence at her birth, has had a Erb’s Palsy Birth Injury settlement of £1m approved in the High Court.

Sarah O’Sullivan (14), suffered a shoulder injury at her birth at hospital in 1997 which lead to her being diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy as she grew older. Claiming that her birth was not handled properly and that the injury could have been avoided with due diligence, Sarah sued the hospital and consultant obstetrician Dr. Patrick Kieran through her father, Kevin.

Both the hospital and Dr. Kieran refuted the claims made, but the court heard that they had agreed to a birth injury compensation settlement of £1m without admission of liability.

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Childbirth Negligence Compensation for Delayed Caesarean Awarded to Brain Damaged Girl

A six-year-old girl from Northamptonshire has been awarded a multi-million pound settlement of birth childbirth negligence compensation for delayed Caesarean after the NHS Trust responsible for her injuries acknowledged their liability at London´s High Court.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, won her claim for delayed Caesarean compensation after the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust admitted that errors were committed in the management of her birth in March 2006.

The High Court was told that the girl was “effectively stillborn” due to being deprived of oxygen when she was eventually delivered after a four hour delay. Due to the delayed Caesarean and resulting brain damage, the child suffers from epilepsy, autism and kidney problems and will require round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

In a statement read in court, the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust apologised for the errors which were made at the time of the girl´s birth and paid tribute to the child´s mother – through whom the claim for delayed Caesarean compensation was made – for the care that she had shown for her daughter.

In a negotiated settlement of childbirth negligence compensation for delayed Caesarean, the girl is to receive tax-free payments of 155,000 pounds per year until she reaches the age of 21, at which point the annual payments will increase to 282,000 pounds per year. The approved compensation award included a lump sum payment of 1 million pounds to account for the six years of care provided by the girl´s mother since her birth.

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Compensation for Hospital Emergency Room Medical Negligence Approved

The widow of a man, who passed due to avoidable circumstances after being admitted to hospital with abdominal pains, has had a settlement of compensation for hospital emergency room medical negligence death due to septic shock approved by a court in Ireland.

Barry Murphy was just 38 years of age when taken to hospital in April 2008 complaining of pains in his abdomen. Barry was diagnosed with a perforated bowel, and even though the hospital was aware that Barry suffered from Crohn´s Disease, it was not until much later that day that surgery was ordered.

Due to the delay in medical treatment, Barry experienced a septic shock – a condition where clots form in narrow arteries and prevent the flow of blood resulting in low blood pressure and organ failure, and one which doctors knowledgeable of his Crohn´s Disease should have taken into account. Barry was pronounced dead at 11.15pm on the same day as he was brought to hospital.

Barry’s wife, Mary, alleged that the hospital was negligent in treating her husband, failed to operate on him within an acceptable time frame and was responsible for his death. After seeking counsel from medical negligence solicitors, Mary claimed compensation for wrongful death due to septic shock – a claim which the hospital denied for three years, during which time Mary sustained a psychological injury and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, after constant pressure and an internal examination, the hospital stated that “the level of care provided fell short of an acceptable standard” and negotiated a settlement of 500,000 Euros compensation for wrongful death due to septic shock with the family.

At the High Court, where the settlement was approved by Mr Justice John Quirk, the hospital also stated that they “apologise unreservedly to Mrs Murphy, their two daughters and the late Mr Murphy’s extended family”.

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Compensation for Delayed Treatment Awarded to Deceased Man’s Family

A hospital has “apologised unreservedly” and paid out 500,000 Euros in compensation for delayed treatment to the family of a deceased man who died from septic shock after being admitted with abdominal pains.

Barry Murphy (38) was admitted to the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital early on 24th April 2008. Barry, a financial controller who was suffering from Crohn´s Disease, was diagnosed with a perforated bowel but surgery was delayed until late in the evening – by which time septic shock had taken over Barry´s body – and he was pronounced dead the same evening.

Barry´s spouse, Mary, and her two daughters alleged that Barry had died due to medical malpractice, and took the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital to court, claiming compensation for delayed treatment and wrongful death. At first the hospital denied liability for Barry´s death, during which time Mary suffered significant psychological damage and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, at the High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that the hospital now admitted that “the level of care provided to the late Mr Murphy fell short of an acceptable standard”, and was willing to pay compensation for delayed treatment amounting to 500,000 Euros in total. After ensuring that the settlement offer was agreeable to Barry´s widow, Mr Justice John Quirke approved the settlement, adding his own sympathy to Mary and her two daughters for the unthinkable tragedy.

This article is about a medical negligence case in Ireland. For additional information about such cases, please refer to medical negligence claims in Ireland.

 

 

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Compensation Claims for MoM Hip Implants May Increase Due to Toxicity Fears

An increase in the number of patients registering a high level of chromium and cobalt in their blood, due to microscopic particles being dispersed by metal on metal (MoM) hip implants, has lead experts to deduce that there could be a sharp increase in the number of MoM hip implant compensation claims.

Advisors to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have advised that new guidance be issued to all recipients of MoM hip implants, due to worries that many people who had the recalled DePuy metal on metal hip replacement systems implanted have not yet followed the advice issued in April 2010 to have an annual x-ray and blood test.

There are more than 40,000 people in the UK who have had some type of metal on metal hip replacement system implanted in the past twenty years – 10,000 of whom received the recalled DePuy ASR hip replacement systems. Before the global recall of the faulty hip systems in August 2010, the MHRA was already advocating that all recipients of metal on metal have annual checks for chromium and cobalt for a period of five years – more if required.

However the President of the British Orthopaedic Association – Professor Joe Dias – has alleged that only 41 per cent of patients known to have received a faulty DePuy MoM hip replacement system have had the results of their check-ups recorded on the central register. Despite the fact that he admits that many may have undergone the annual checks without their results being communicated, he has concerns that many more may not have been contacted due to their original orthopaedic surgeons retiring and no follow-ups ever being made.

According to Stephen Cannon, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, not only can the microscopic particles be liable for organ failures and neurological illnesses, but they result in tissue necrosis – making revision surgery that much more complicated and reducing the chances of success. Consequently, not only is the number of MoM hip implant compensation claims expected to rise, but also their value, due to reconstructive work having to be carried out before hip surgery can commence and the longer recovery periods that will be experienced by patients.

Also though not strictly down to to medical negligence, compensation claims for MoM hip replacement compensation should be directed towards specialist UK medical negligence solicitors who understand the emotional worries associated with this type of medical procedure.

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Implanon Compensation Claims May Rise Due to Doctor Negligence

Doctor negligence is the main cause for the increase of Implanon compensation claims according to the maker of the contraceptive device – Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD). Their statement was following a Channel 4 News investigation into why 584 women using the contraceptive device had fallen pregnant since the implant was introduced into the UK in 1999.

The news report showed that 1,607 complaints about the implant have been recorded by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulation Authority (MHRA) from women who have sustained an Implanon injury, and NHS Trusts have paid almost 200,000 pounds in medical negligence compensation to seven of the victims; with a further seven Implanon compensation claims currently waiting to be resolved.

The Implanon contraceptive product is made to stop women becoming pregnant for three years by releasing hormones into the bloodstream from a 40mm tube implanted into the their arm. However, if the implant is inserted wrongly, or inserted at the wrong time of the month, the result can be an unintended pregnancy and the psychological trauma of whether to terminate the pregnancy or accept a major lifestyle change.

Not all the Implanon compensation claims have been taken because of unintended pregnancies. Other Implanon injuries have been registered; including scarring injuries when the implant has been incorrectly inserted and injuries sustained when it has proved difficult to remove an expired Implanon device. Furthermore, it is not only the producers who think that doctor negligence is attributable to the Implanon injuries and unintended pregnancies.

Talking in an interview after the Channel 4 News investigation had been aired, Dr. Clare Gerada – chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners – said “Clearly there have been some problems. But every GP who intends to fit an implant must be competent and confident and be able to show that they have received the necessary training.” Her main worry was for those women not captured in the Channel 4 News investigation that have given birth or terminated their unintended pregnancies.

As much as they are equally entitled to make Implanon compensation claims as the women who have already brought complaints against their doctors, they may be suffering alone without help or support. One woman spoken to for the news report described how her marriage collapsed and she suffered with nightmares for months after having a termination. Without making Implanon compensation claims, it is not likely that these women will have the resources to seek the professional counselling they need.

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Clinical Malpractice Hearing: Man Awarded 17,300 Pounds

A man has been awarded a total of 17,300 Pounds in clinical malpractice compensation after the unauthorised access of his medical records resulted in the worsening of his paranoid personality disorder.

Judge Cotter QC, sitting at the Plymouth County Court, heard how the medical historys of Sean Robert Grinyer of Plymouth, Devon, had been access and disclosed by Mr Grinyer´s ex-partner who was, at the time of the offence in December 2007, employed at the hospital as a nurse.

This unauthorised access and disclosure was claimed by Mr Grinyer´s legal counsel to be in breach of S.13 of the Data Protection Act 1988 and the action by the claimant´s partner, plus an alleged mis-handling of his following complaint, had caused Mr Grinyer´s pre-existing paranoid personality disorder to worsen. It was also argued in the action against Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust that the deterioration in his condition had also caused Mr Grinyer to reject an offer of temporary employment.

After hearing expert medical testimony in respect of Mr Grinyer´s paranoid personality disorder, Judge Cotter QC ruled that the exacerbation of his condition did indeed constitute an injury and was due to negligence on behalf of the Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust. The judge awarded Mr Grinyer 12,500 Pounds in clinical malpractice compensation for the injuries he had sustained plus an additional 4,800 Pounds for loss of earnings when unable to accept the offer of employment.

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Settlement Agreed for Brain Injury Compensation

A man, who suffered brain damage due to alleged negligence at his birth, has settled his brain injury compensation claim against the NHS East Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

Mathew Eacott (aged 25) of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was delivered at the Kings Mill Hospital in 1986 showing no signs of life. He was revived by medics but, it was claimed in an action for brain injury compensation, that had the medical team acted sooner Mathew would not have sustained the traumatic injuries he lives with today.

Mr Justice Wilkie was told at the High Court in London that Mathew now suffers from cerebral palsy, mobility problems, limited vision, behavioural difficulties and epilepsy due to the alleged medical negligence. The Kings Mill Hospital and NHS East Midlands Strategic Health Authority but, the judge was told, had agreed to a brain injury compensation settlement on the grounds that a trial in court could have gone either way.

In approving the settlement, which consists of a lump sum payment of 200,000 pounds and a yet-to-be-agreed annual payment, Mr Justice Wilkie said “In those circumstances, the parties are to be congratulated in having the wisdom to settle the case on a compromise basis, rather than put all at risk on a trial.”

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Hospital Medical Negligence Claim Settled for Misdiagnosed Spinal Injury

A 25 year old man, whose schoolboy spinal injury was overlooked eleven years ago – leading to years of pain and difficulty with walking – has settled his hospital medical negligence claim with the Tameside Hospital in Manchester in an undisclosed out-of-court settlement.  

Liam Careless of Stalybridge, Manchester, was just twelve years of age when he went to the Accident and Emergency department of the Tameside Hospital complaining of feelings of paralysis on his neck. He (Liam) was x-rayed, detained overnight and discharged from hospital the next day with a neck collar for support.

However, after four years of complaining of shooting pains in his neck, another x-ray revealed that the serious damage to Liam´s spine had been overlooked – damage which could have been resolved with prompt surgery at the time of his original complaint.

Now faced with lifelong of pain, a weak neck and difficulty with walking, Liam sought legal advice and brought a hospital medical negligence claim against the Tameside Hospital. The Hospital acknowledged that they were liable for the error and offered Liam a six figure sum in compensation to provide ongoing care.

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Latest on Depuy Hip Replacement Recall Legal Action

The latest news on the DePuy hip replacement recall made by DePuy in August 2010 surrounds events currently taking place in the United States.

In September, Judge David A. Katz, the judge assigned to hear the multidistrict litigation case in Toledo, Ohio, issued Case Management Orders for all claimants in the class action law suits filed to date in the States, to provide  Fact Sheets and Medical Records Authorisation Forms if they have already undergone revision surgery.

The Fact Sheets and Medical Records Authorisation Forms contain basic information concerning the injuries sustained by the claimants and will substitute for individual disclosure to the defendants in the case – DePuy Orthopaedics Inc and their insurers Broadspire Services Inc. DePuy Orthopaedics have 120 days from the receipt of these documents to present the court with detailed information about each replacement hip system which was initially implanted, and facts relating to any communication between the company, their agents and the claimant.

Inasmuch as these submissions provide basic information about each claimant, solicitors representing those making a DePuy hip replacement compensation claim will still have to compile a case for each, as damages will be awarded on an individual basis (should DePuy Orthopaedics be found liable for personal injury compensation) depending on their unique circumstances. Those still to undergo revision surgery will still be able to claim for advanced pain and suffering, but awards of personal injury compensation will be distributed on the merit of each separate case.

Further to Judge Katz´s Case management Order, the latest news on the hip replacement recall law suits is that a conference between representatives of the legal firms which have filed class action lawsuits to date has been scheduled in Toledo for Tuesday November 22nd. The judge himself will be in attendance to assess the progress of the Case Management Orders and decide whether pre-trial hearings are the next appropriate action.

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Hospital Medical Negligence Compensation for Operation on Wrong Side of Heart

A man, who was woken during surgery to tell him that his heart operation had gone wrong, has received a six-figure sum in hospital compensation after making a medical negligence claim.

Steve Edwards (51) was having a minor heart procedure at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 2008 when the error occurred. During the surgery, an item of equipment slipped, causing a radio pulse to be applied to the incorrect side of his heart.

The error meant that Mr Edwards would require a pacemaker fitted, and the heavily anaesthetised was brought around to advise him of the treatment he required. Mr Edwards claimed in his action a that he did not appreciate the severity of the issue at the time, and it was only in an outpatient´s appointment ten weeks later that the full extent of the error became known.

Despite three additional attempts at corrective surgery, Mr Edwards will now have to wear the pacemaker for the rest of his life – meaning that he will have to undergo surgery once every seven years to replace the battery. The Bristol Royal Infirmary admitted negligence and agreed a six-figure sum in hospital compensation with Mr Edwards’ legal representatives in an out-of-court settlement.

In the statement, the Bristol Royal Infirmary stated “Technical errors during Mr Edwards’ cardiac ablation procedure resulted in the catheter moving and radio frequency energy being delivered to the wrong side of his heart. Further checks have been introduced to ensure that the catheter is perfectly placed before radio frequency energy is delivered.”


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Faulty Hip System DePuy “Poster Girl” Take Negligence Compensation Case

A retired gymnast, who promoted the DePuy ASR Hip Replacement System before to the product´s worldwide recall last year, is making a negligence compensation claim against the product´s manufacturers Johnson & Johnson following difficulties with her own DePuy hip replacement system.

Penny Brown (51) of Bath, Wiltshire, had hip replacement surgery in 2004 to relieve her from the constant pain of osteoarthritis. At the time of the surgery, the DePuy ASR hip replacement system transformed her daily life to such a degree that she agreed to become the “face” of DePuy and promote their hip replacement systems throughout the UK.

Between 2004 and 2008, Penny was DePuy’s “patient brand” and her image was used all over the world. Penny also gave interviews about the benefits of the DePuy ASR hip replacement device and counselled patients about to have implant surgery. However, in 2009, Penny began to develop a groin pain which was diagnosed as being caused by the hip replacement system and, as the wear and tear grew, felt a clunking sensation whenever she walked anywhere.

In May 2011, Penny was informed that she would need revision surgery which would mean the removal of the DePuy ASR hip replacement device and a replacement system installed.  She had her operation and has been bed-bound and not able to work ever since.

 

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Hospital Medical Negligence Compensation Approved for Disabled Teenager

A teenage girl, who was left paralysed by a spinal surgeon´s negligence, has had a multi-million pounds hospital medical negligence compensation settlement approved by the High Court in London.

Laura May (17) of Chorley, Lancashire, was admitted to hospital in March 2005 for an operation to correct a curvature of her spine. However, her orthopaedic surgeon – Dr Roger Battersby Smith – failed to use an imaging technique before operating, and negligently misplaced a screw during the operation.

As a result of Dr Smith’s hospital medical negligence, Laura lost the use of her limbs and is paralysed from the chest down.

After seeking legal advice, Laura´s parents – Bill and Christine May – sued Dr Smith and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for hospital medical negligence compensation and, in 2009, the Royal Court of Justice ruled in favour of Laura and her family.

The High Court in London has now approved a settlement which will comprise of a lump sum payment now and periodic payments throughout Laura´s life. The total compensation package – which is believed to be around 3 million pounds – will provide medical care, specialised accommodation and equipment for Laura, as well as compensating her for future loss of earnings.

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Mesothelioma Widow Awarded Major Compensation Settlement

The widow of a man who sustained mesothelioma cancer after exposure to workplace asbestos has been awarded 258,520 in industrial injury compensation against her husband’s former employers.

William Wolff, formerly of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, died from mesothelioma cancer in March 2007 at 66 years of age – just eighteen months after retiring from Weir Construction Ltd. During his working life at the construction company and previously at John Moulds (Kilmarnock) Limited, it was claimed by his widow – Elizabeth Wolff – that he had been exposed to asbestos fibres which were responsible for the injury.

Both Weir Construction Ltd and John Moulds (Kilmarnock) Limited accepted that the illness was caused by negligent exposure to asbestos while William was alive, and the case was before Judge Lord Doherty at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the assessment of damages.

Judge Lord Doherty heard that William’s death was a very painful one, and that Elizabeth had given up her job as a social worker in order to provide full-time care for her terminally ill husband.

After being told expert medical evidence that William would have been expected to live on the balance of all probability for a further 17 years had he not contracted mesothelioma cancer, the judge granted Elizabeth a total award of 258,520 pounds, and in additional made further awards totalling 52,317 pounds to William´s three daughters and one of 7,084 pounds to his granddaughter.

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Paralysed at Birth Child Awarded 6 Million Pound Package

A six year old boy, who is only able to move his eyes after an error in his delivery left him in a quadriplegic condition, has been awarded a 6 million pounds compensation package at London´s High Court.

The boy, whose name was withheld in court, sustained severe cerebral palsy due to delays in a caesarean section being performed at Epsom Hospital in December 2004 and now requires around-the-clock care.

Suing Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust through his mother, the boy claimed that their medical negligence had led to his condition and, after an investigation, Mr Justice Eady at the High Court heard that the NHS Trust admittedly liability.

The medical negligence compensation settlement which totals 5,961,199 pounds, is to paid in a lump sum of 2.8 million pounds to pay for the care and specialist treatment he requires now, with further index-linked and tax free payments throughout the remainder of the child´s life.

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Prison Inmates win 10 Million Pounds in Compensation Awards

A study released by the Ministry of Justice has shown  that more than 10 million pounds has been awarded in compensation payments to prison inmates over the past five years.

Although the large majority of claims are in respect of “processing” delays, leading to the delayed release of prisoners, four payments in excess of 50,000 pounds were made in the last financial year in personal injury compensation and more than 1.6 million pounds in medical negligence compensation.

A representative from the Ministry of Justice stated  “The vast majority of prisoners’ compensation claims are relatively trivial, do not merit financial redress, and are dismissed at an early stage. All claims are robustly defended, and would only be settled on the basis of strong legal advice, and in order to seek the best value for the taxpayer. Compensation would then be determined following judicial guidelines and a full analysis of the available evidence.”

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Seven Figure Hospital Malpractice Award Anticipated for Wolverhampton Boy

A ten-year-old Wolverhampton boy, who was brain damaged at birth due to alleged negligence, has won his battle for hospital malpractice compensation.

Joseph O’Reggio was born in April 2001. Prior to his delivery, Mr Justice Tugendhat heard at London´s High Court, Joe was starved of oxygen and suffered brain damage due to this.

Joe was left with cerebral palsy as a consequence of this birth injury, wheelchair bound and suffering from severe learning difficulties. The Court was also told how the boy is unable to speak or feed himself.

It was claimed in an hospital malpractice award action against the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust that medical staff should have realised at an earlier stage that Joe was in distress and brought forward his delivery.

Though the NHS Trust denied that Joe´s injuries were caused by medical negligence, they agreed on the day before the trial was due to commence to admit 80 per cent liability for the claim, which will now go for assessment of damages.

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Claim for Blood Poisoning Injury Made for DePuy Medication Error

A claim for medication error injury has been made against DePuy Orthopaedics by a woman who received her DePuy ASR hip replacement system as recently as November 2009.

The medication error claim, made by Delores Hatcher from Wheeling, West Virginia, follows the results of a blood test in April 2011 which indicated high levels of chromium-1 and meta-cobalt in her blood – known causes of cardiovascular injury and neurological conditions such as headaches, confusion and cognitive decline, and possibly carcinogens which could lead to the development of cancer.

Delores added her medication error claim to the growing number of compensation claims following the DePuy hip recall of August 2010 after visiting her doctor complaining of pain around her left hip and difficulty in walking. Both Delores and her doctor were overcome by the outcome of the blood tests as the hip replacement was fitted in November 2009 and had failed in a short period of time.

In her claim for blood poisoning compensation from medication error, Delores also accuses Johnson & Johnson – the parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics – of hiding known defects with the faulty hip replacement systems and alleges that they aggressively marketed the faulty hip replacement systems by paying kickbacks to medical supplies purchasers and orthopaedic surgeons.

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1 Million Pounds Heart Operation Compensation

Two teenagers, who claimed to have suffered disability following a heart operation at the Bristol Royal Infirmary when they were children, have each had hospital negligence compensation awards of 500,000 pounds approved in the High Court.

The teenagers – Kristian Dixon (19) and Jessica Johnson (18) – were both babies when undergoing heart surgery in 1992 and 1993 respectively.  Mr Dixon claimed that brain damage sustained when he was sixteen months caused cognitive and learning difficulties, while Ms Johnson has needed permanent care ever since her heart surgery.

It was alleged at the High Court in London that both had sustained brain damage due to professional negligence by Surgeon Mr James Wisheart and hospital manager Dr John Roylance – who were struck off following a study into the deaths of 29 babies at the hospital between 1988 and 1995 – and Dr Janardan Dhasmana, who was barred from performing heart surgery at a disciplinary hearing in 1999.

Approving the awards, which were agreed by United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust without admission of liability, Mr Justice Owen praised the families of both teenagers for the dedicated care they had given over the years.

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Judge Approves Settlement of Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy Compensation

A multi-million settlement of dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation has been approved at the High Court in favour of an eight-year-old boy from Wales.

Callum Davies was born in November 2002 at the Nevill Hall Hospital after a fifteen minute delay in his delivery resulted in him being starved of oxygen in the womb and sustaining brain damage.

Callum (now eight years of age) suffers from dyskinetic cerebral palsy, will never be able to live independently and will require extensive help for the remainder of his life.

Callum´s father – Paul Davies from Abergavenny in Monmouthshire – made a claim for dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation on behalf of his son, claiming that the delay in delivering Callum was avoidable and attributable to hospital negligence.

The Anuerin Bevan Health Board (formerly the Gwent healthcare NHS Trust) admitted liability for Callum´s terrible birth injuries and a compensation package was negotiated to provide Callum with the care he will need for the rest of his life.

At the High Court in London, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies heard that the package consisted of a £2.275 million lump sum payment followed by annual index-linked, tax-free payments for the rest of Callum´s life.

The judge heard that the dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation settlement will be used to adapt the family home and provide a specialised education program for Callum. The court also heard an apology read to Callum´s parents by a representative of the Anuerin Bevan Health Board.

Approving the settlement of dyskinetic cerebral palsy compensation, Judge Davies said: “It is clear that the care which you have given is of the highest order. I know that Callum´s injuries have impacted you and your whole family as a unit and that is something which at times is very, very difficult for families”.

The judge concluded: “I am well aware that the settlement approved by the court is not the complete answer, but what I do hope for the family is that these monies will make life easier”.

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Compensation for the Failure to Recognise a Premature Birth Approved in Court

A £2 million settlement of compensation for the failure to recognise a premature birth has been approved in the High Court.

Thomas and Rachel Hartley from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire were born at the Hemel Hempstead Hospital in October 1999 with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy having been starved of oxygen in their mother´s womb.

Their mother – Joanna – had attended the hospital several days prior to their birth complaining of pregnancy complications; but she was prescribed with drugs to strengthen the babies´ lings and sent home – when in fact she was just about to deliver her children prematurely.

Due to the alleged misdiagnosis of Joanna´s condition, Thomas and Rachel are dependent on their parents for support and for communicating and will be confined to wheelchairs for the remainder of their lives.

On her children´s behalf, Joanna claimed compensation for the failure to recognise a premature birth against the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, claiming that if her condition had been correctly diagnosed, Thomas and Rachel would not have been starved of oxygen in the womb and sustained spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The NHS Trust denied its liability for the children´s birth injuries, but made a £2 million offer of settlement in respect of Thomas´ injuries without an admission of liability (Rachel´s future needs are still being assessed). The offer was accepted, but first had to be approved by a judge before the claim in respect of Thomas could be resolved.

Consequently, in the High Court in London, Judge Peter Ralls QC heard the details of the claim for compensation for the failure to recognise a premature birth, and the offer of settlement that had been made by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The judge approved the settlement, expressing his sympathy to Joanna and her husband, and saying “I wish you well for the future, and for your delightful children”.

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Compensation Claim for a Stillborn Birth due to Hospital Negligence Resolved Out of Court

A compensation claim for a stillborn birth due to hospital negligence has been resolved out-of-court for an undisclosed five-figure amount.

In October 2009, Katie Page from Droitwich in Worcestershire was a week overdue for the birth of her first child. Katie´s pregnancy had progressed normally, despite being identified as “high risk” due to a family medical history of thrombosis. Indeed, Katie herself suffered from Factor V Leiden thrombophilia, and an inducement of her baby had been arranged for a few days later.

During the night of October 5th/6th, Katie experienced mild contractions and a subsequent reduction in her baby´s movements. The following morning Katie telephoned the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) and was told to drink plenty of cold water and contact the hospital later if she was still concerned.

That afternoon, Katie again experienced mild contractions but still no movement from her baby. She telephoned the hospital once again and was told to call back later with an update. Shortly after midnight, Katie´s husband – Robert – telephoned the hospital to say that his wife was experiencing constant pain and he was told to bring Katie to the hospital.

However, rather than being seen by an obstetrician, Katie was attended by a midwife; who performed a vaginal inspection rather than conduct a CT scan and sent Katie home again – even though her inducement was booked for a few hours later. At 9.00am in the morning, Katie called the hospital once again to enquire about the inducement, and was told that no beds were available.

Several more attempts throughout the day proved no more successful and at 7.00pm that evening Katie went to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital requesting that she be admitted. At 9.45pm Katie was eventually admitted onto a labour ward, but an assessment of her condition did not take place until 11.15pm – when a midwife could not find the foetal heart beat and summoned the obstetric registrar.

Ultrasound scans confirmed Katie´s worst fears – that her child had died in the womb – but she still had to endure a prolonged induce labour the following morning to deliver her stillborn son – which Katie and Robert named Harry.

After seeking legal advice, Katie and Robert made a compensation claim for a stillborn birth due to hospital negligence – claiming that had Katie been admitted when she had first contacted the hospital, Harry might have been delivered safely and survived. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability for Harry´s avoidable death, and the undisclosed settlement of the couple´s compensation claim for a stillborn birth due to hospital negligence was negotiated.

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Settlement of Claim for Brain Damage Caused by a Hospital Infection Approved in Court

The settlement of a claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection has been approved at the Royal Court of Justice in favour of a thirteen-year-old girl.

Ayesha Canning-Kishver from Coventry in the West Midlands was born at Birmingham City Hospital in July 1999 thirteen weeks prematurely. Weighing only 1lb and 12 ounces, and suffering from mild periventricular leukomalcia, Ayesha was transferred to the special neonatal care unit within the hospital, where she seemed to be making a recovery from her condition over the following week.

However, while she was in the neonatal care unit, Ayesha contracted staphylocoous epidermidis and klebsiella – both hospital “superbugs which are caused by bacteria entering the body via the medical devices that were keeping Ayesha alive. Because of her illnesses Ayesha almost died, and she suffered brain damage while she was being resuscitated after being starved of oxygen.

Ayesha will now need around the clock care for the rest of her life; and, on her daughter´s behalf, Shahana Kishver made a compensation claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection against the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – claiming that a breach in the hospital´s duty of care led to a delay in Ayesha´s symptoms being diagnosed and appropriate action taken.

The NHS Trust denied its liability for Ayesha´s injuries, and contested the claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection – arguing that medical staff at the hospital were blameless for Ayesha contracting the superbugs and suffering brain damage, and that the injuries were attributable to Ayesha being born prematurely.

In 2008, a High Court hearing found that the NHS Trust was indeed liable for Ayesha´s injuries and the claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection was adjourned so that reports could be compiled on Ayesha´s future needs.

At the Royal Court of Justice this week, Mr Justice Neil Butterfield heard that a settlement had been agreed upon that will see Ayesha receive a lump sum compensation payment of £1.3 million immediately, with annual tax-free and index-linked payments of £70,000 until Ayesha reaches the age of eighteen – when they will increase to today´s equivalent of £90,000.

After hearing an apology read to the family by a representative of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust, Judge Butterfield approved the settlement – commenting that “this should not be viewed as a lottery win – rather it will be used to fund the lifetime of care that Ayesha will need”.

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Compensation for Catastrophic Birth Injuries Awarded to 33-Year-Old Man

A man from Oxfordshire, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has been awarded compensation for catastrophic birth injuries thirty-three years after he was born.

Ian Murphy was born at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 1977. Prior to his delivery, Ian was starved of oxygen in the womb and was born with cerebral palsy. Ian has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life and experiences difficulty in communicating.

For thirty-three years, Ian has been cared for by his parents; but, as his parents were getting older and felt that they could not provide the support Ian needed for much longer, they enquired about suitable accommodation for Ian where he could get professional support.

It was only then Ian´s parents discovered that he may be entitled to compensation for catastrophic birth injuries, and they engaged the services of a solicitor to investigate his case. The solicitor came back to the parents with a positive response and – although the medical negligence responsible for Ian´s catastrophic birth injuries occurred thirty-three years ago – Ian´s parents made a claim for compensation against the South Central Strategic Health Authority.

Liability was conceded by the Health Authority following an investigation into the circumstances of Ian´s birth, and a settlement package estimated to be worth £5.7 million was negotiated. As Ian is unable to represent himself, the package of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries had to be approved by a judge.

Consequently, at the Royal Court of Justice in London, the circumstances of Ian´s birth were related to the court. The court also heard an apology read to the family by a representative of South Central Strategic Health Authority, after which the settlement of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries was approved and the case resolved.

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Widow to Receive Compensation for the Lack of Post-Operative Care in Hospital

The widow of a man who died after a routine operation is to receive an undisclosed five-figure settlement of compensation for the lack of post-operative care in hospital.

Sixty-year-old Chris Harper was admitted into Trafford General Hospital in March 2007 for a routine hip operation. While he was in recovery, Chris – a previously fit father of three – started to experience pains in his side and in his chest, and a shortness of breath. He died the following week from complications due to a blood clot.

The coroner´s inquest into Chris´ death returned a verdict of death by misadventure; after which Chris´ widow from Salford in Manchester sought legal advice and claimed compensation for the lack of post-operative care in hospital.

In the claim against Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, it was alleged that Chris should have been provided with specialist stockings to prevent blood clots forming, and that staff were slow to respond to Chris´ complaints about the pain he was in.

It was also claimed that Chris was not given any physiotherapy until three days after his surgical procedure, whereas normal good practices would dictate that Chris received his first session of physiotherapy on the day of his operation.

After an internal investigation into the care that Chris was given after his surgery, the Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust acknowledged that the care provided for Chris was not of an acceptable standard. The NHS Trust settlement Mrs Harper´s claim for compensation for the lack of post-operative care in hospital for an undisclosed five-figure sum.

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Patient Settles Claim for Latex Left inside Body during Surgery for £350,000

A patient who underwent a heart operation has successfully resolved his claim for latex left inside his body during surgery.

Thirty-six year old Wayne Williams from Tooting in London underwent heart surgery at St Georges Hospital in south-west London in June 2006. During the procedure, a tracheotomy was performed to help him breathe; but the surgeon performing the tracheotomy tore his latex glove on the equipment – leaving a fragment behind in Wayne´s throat.

Wayne recovered well from the heart surgery except for difficulties with his breathing. He was referred back to St Georges Hospital and underwent exploratory throat surgery to establish why he was experiencing difficulties. It was then that the small piece of glove was discovered – which was not only responsible for Wayne´s breathlessness, but which had also scarred his vocal chords.

After seeking legal advice, Wayne made a claim for latex left inside his body during surgery and, after an investigation into his claim, St George NHS Healthcare Trust admitted liability for his injury. A £350,000 settlement of George´s claim for latex left inside his body during surgery was negotiated without the need for court action.

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Minister to Receive Compensation for the Failure to Treat a Brain Tumour

A West Midlands man is due to receive a substantial settlement of compensation for the failure to treat a brain tumour after it was left untreated for three years.  

Adrian Underwood – a former Church of England assistant minister – was studying a theology course at Nottingham University when – in 2201 – he attended the Nottingham University Hospital complaining of severe headaches.

A brain scan revealed an abnormal growth within his skull, but no further action was taken in respect of the growth and Adrian was discharged from the hospital after being told that he was suffering from migraine. Adrian (42) continued to experience severe headaches, and he returned to his home city of Birmingham to take a position of a curate due to being unable to complete his studies.

In 2004, Adrian´s health deteriorated further and he began to lose his sight. He underwent another brain scan at the Birmingham Eye Hospital, where a brain tumour the size of a lemon was identified. Adrian had an emergency operation to remove the tumour, but still suffers from epilepsy and fatigue as a result of the original oversight by doctors at the Nottingham University Hospital.

After recovering from his operation, Adrian sought legal advice and made a claim for compensation for the failure to treat a brain tumour against the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. After an investigation into Adrian´s claim, the NHS trust admitted liability for his avoidable condition and an undisclosed settlement of compensation was negotiated.

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Report Finds Admission of Hospital Negligence Reduces Number of Claims

A report into the University of Michigan´s Medical Error Disclosure Program has found that an early admission of hospital negligence reduces the number of compensation claims made against the hospital.

The University of Michigan Hospital adopted the Medical Error Disclosure Program in 2001, at a time when it was receiving up to 250 hospital negligence claims each year due to a patient suffering an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition.

Under the program, staff are encouraged to report potential problems and “near misses” so that steps can be taken to address issues that might lead to claims of hospital negligence in the future. Staff are also encourage to admit to patients and hospital authorities when avoidable mistakes have occurred, so that the hospital can act quickly to contact the patient and attempt to find a resolution without litigation.

By approaching patients at an early stage with an apology and a potential solution, the hospital has found that the early admission of hospital negligence has resulted in potential hospital negligence claims being dropped. By explaining what went wrong – and what can be done to rectify the situation – the hospital believes that patients feel they have been treated appropriately and are less inclined to sue.

In cases where patients have already engaged solicitors, the hospital authorities are willing to meet with both the patient and the solicitor in an attempt to find a reasonable solution in the shortest possible time. The admission of hospital negligence in these cases does not always result in a compensation settlement and the hospital now reports that is receives fewer than 100 claims for hospital negligence compensation each year.

By implementing the Medical Error Disclosure Program and suggestions made by medical staff, the average rate of new hospital negligence claims per 100,000 “patient encounters” has fallen from 7.03 to 4.52. In addition to saving costs with fewer hospital negligence compensation settlements to pay, the University of Michigan Hospital also saves of legal fees and litigation costs – with the average number of cases going to court each month having fallen from 2.13 to 0.75.

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