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.