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.