UK Hospital Complaints

NHS Disputes Value of Medical Negligence Claim for Burst Appendix

Posted on: March 7th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

The National Health Service (NHS) is disputing the value of a claim made by a woman who was left infertile by a burst appendix that was not removed in a timely fashion.

The trouble began in 2008, when Sarah Marquis began experiencing severe pains in her abdomen. She visited her GP, and was then admitted to Homerton Hospital in East London, where she was put on painkillers for three days. The doctors failed to notice that her appendix needed to be removed, and eventually the procedure was undertaken. Medical staff commented that the appendix was “gangrenous and perforated”, and lead to a serious abdominal infection that caused Ms Marquis to be infertile.

Three-and-a-half years after the operation, Ms Marquis had not returned to her £65,000 per annum job at DLA Piper, a leading London law firm. After seeking legal counsel, Ms Marquis made a claim against the Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for their failure to remove her appendix. The Trust conceded liability for her injuries, though they contested her claim for £1.5 million in compensation, instead arguing that the true value of the claim was closer to £300,000.

The case proceeded to London’s High Court, where Judge Robert Owen QC heard evidence that Ms Marquis’ life was drastically altered by the delayed procedure an infection, including losing the opportunity to live and work in the United Staes of America, where she could have expected to earn more. Additionally, she will never be able to conceive her own biological child with her partner.

Bradley Martin, barrister for the NHS Trust, read an apology to Ms Marquis at the hearing that acknowledged that Homerton Hospital had been responsible for her injuries. However, he proceeded to question whether Ms Marquis would have both had children and worked in the USA, arguing that her desire for one would have overridden the other and she would not have done both.

The hearing is due to continue later this month.

Complaints Concerning NHS Staff Levels Soar in Two-Year Period

Posted on: September 13th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

Over 7,000 complaints have been filed against the Scottish NHS as concern mounts over staffing levels, statistics released by the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party indicate.

The data – which was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – shows that 7,253 complaints have been made over the last two years concerning staff levels in the Scottish NHS, with the majority of complaints being made by healthcare professionals themselves.

The report also shows that the number of job vacancies available for healthcare consultants has increased from 128 to 447.5 over the past three years – a three-fold increase – and that the number of job positions open for nurses and midwives has increased by twenty percent, from 1.865 to 2,256.

Jim Hume, the health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, has used these findings to criticise the Scottish National Party; “These stark figures underline the pressure that NHS staff are under as a result of the failure of the SNP government to get to grips with the challenges facing our health service.”

However, his argument was countered by SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison, who used other statistical findings to defend her government; “[The complaints about NHS staff levels] are critically important. Under this government, NHS staff numbers have risen by over 10,000, with more doctors and nurses now delivering care for the people of Scotland”.

Health Secretary Robison added: “We also have record high numbers of GPs – including the most GPs per head of the population in the UK. To give people the high quality healthcare they deserve, we are investing in and supporting a highly skilled NHS workforce. Over the past year alone, this includes an additional 600 nurses and midwives.”

Regardless of the politics of the situation, the dissatisfaction with the level staff in Scottish hospitals is cause for concern, especially when one considers that the majority of such complaints were made by employees of the hospitals. Understaffed hospitals put more strain on their employees, which could have disastrous results in medical settings – with both healthcare professionals and patients suffering as a consequence.