UK Hospital Negligence Claims

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.

Claim Settled for Family after Negligence at Hospital

Posted on: November 11th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

The family of a man who died because of a lack of care at Birmingham Hospital has received a settlement of compensation.

On the 31st December 2009, Ross Askew – then aged thirty-three from Selly Oak, West Midlands – began suffering from pains in his abdominal area. He went to Selly Oak Hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe necrotising pancreatitis. He was then transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

As he was being admitted to the second hospital, Mr Askew started to vomit bile, blocking the respirator to which he was attached. This prevented him from breathing, and Mr Askew – already being treated for a brain tumour – experienced acute respiratory failure and went into cardiac arrest.

As he was deprived of oxygen for a period, Mr Askew suffered severe injuries to his brain. In April 2010, he was transferred to a specialist rehabilitation unit, and discharged to the care of his family the following August. The next year, he was readmitted to hospital for treatment of his recurring brain tumour, where he sadly died on the 10th October.

Carol, Mr Askew’s mother, sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for compensation for lack of medical care. She claimed that her son did not receive adequate care as he was being admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and that was a direct contributor to his death.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, who oversee proceedings at the hospital, denied any liability for Mr Askew’s death, claiming that the treatment administered to him during his transfer was not a causal agent in his death. However, an undisclosed settlement of compensation was awarded to the family, without admission of liability.

After the settlement was announced, Carol Askew commented: “We are bitterly disappointed that the Trust did not accept responsibility for the failings in his treatment. After he suffered the brain injury in early 2010, Ross needed 24-hour care as he wasn’t able to move independently or look after himself. We are devastated that he was taken away from us so suddenly and it is incredibly difficult for us to come to terms with.”

NHS Trust Concedes Liability for Treatment of Broken Leg

Posted on: October 17th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

A NHS Trust have admitted they were liable for negligently treating a woman’s broken leg, causing her to endure years of unnecessary pain and discomfort.

When twenty-five year-old Sally Marsh, from Diglis in Worcestershire, was playing soccer for her local team in August 2012, she fell awkwardly and managed to break two bones in her right leg. An ambulance was called to the scene and took her to the Worcester Royal Hospital. Her leg was then set and put into a full cast

Upon her discharge from the hospital, Ms Marsh was told that it was safe to put weight on her leg. After eight weeks wearing the full leg cast, it was replaced with a half-leg cast for a further six weeks. After that period, when the second cast was removed, it became clear that the bones had not properly healed.

Ms Marsh visited an orthopaedic specialist, who discovered that the bones had set at an awkward nineteen degrees. An operation would be needed to properly set the bones, but due to the inefficiency of the NHS in organising the procedure, Ms Marsh had to wait nine months before the operation. During this time, she experienced a lot of pain and discomfort, requiring her to take time off of work and stop her engagement in various pastimes.

After the operation eventually took place, a metal cage was fitted to help support the wound. However, it was not properly fitted and Ms Marsh developed an infection, requiring her to take a course of antibiotics.

Ms Marsh proceeded to seek legal counsel and subsequently made a claim for compensation against the Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. In her claim, she stated that her discharge from hospital came too soon after her admittance, and the delay in the procedure had caused her to suffer more damage that could have been prevented.

An investigation ensued, and the NHS Trust conceded liability for the medical negligence that Ms Marsh suffered. The parties are currently in the midst of negotiating a compensation settlement for the treatment of the broken leg.

Ms Marsh commented 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.”

Patient´s Claim for Wrong Site Surgery on Back Settled Out of Court for £259,000

Posted on: July 3rd, 2015 by Medical Negligence

A patient, who lost the use of his arm due to surgical negligence, has settled his claim for wrong site surgery on his back for £259,000.

Michael Dunn (51) – a former officer with the Greater Manchester Police – underwent back surgery in 2011 at the Salford Royal Hospital in Manchester to repair two discs in his back that were causing him to suffer severe neck pain that was extending down his right arm and into his hand.

After waking from the operation, Michael from Droylsden in Greater Manchester complained to his consultant that he had no feeling in the arm at all. He was assured by the consultant that the lack of sensation was only temporary and that the use of his arm would return to normal in a few days.

However, Michael only regained minimal use of his right arm and, after being forced to give up his job as a traffic support officer, he sought legal advice from a solicitor. An investigation was launched into Michael´s treatment, from which it was discovered that surgeons had operated on the wrong discs.

In addition to operating on the wrong discs in his back, it was also found that Michael had sustained damage to a nerve root during the surgery. Because it is unlikely that he will ever regain full use of his arm, Michael made a compensation claim for wrong site surgery on his back against the hospital.

The Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability for Michael´s injury, and an out-of-court settlement of the claim for wrong site surgery on his back was negotiated amounting to £259,000. Speaking after the settlement of his claim had been announced, Michael said:

“This has completely changed my life. I had planned to stay with Greater Manchester Police until I retire, but this has taken it away. I wish I had never had the surgery. I was led to believe it was a straightforward operation, so I wasn´t expecting any complications.”

Dr Peter Turkington –the Salford Royal Hospital´s Medical Director – commented: “Once again, we would like to offer our sincere apologies to Mr Dunn for the standard he received at Salford Royal. When an incident occurs, it is always Salford Royal´s practise to apologise, thoroughly investigate it and ensure that we openly share the findings of this investigation with the patient concerned.”

Compensation Claim for Wrongful Death Settled for Undisclosed Sum

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

The family of a woman who died because of a hospital failure to adequately measure her oxygen levels have settled their compensation claim for an undisclosed figure.

Hilda Seagrave, aged seventy-four of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, was admitted to the New Cross Hospital on the 25th June 2011 after falling in her home. Already suffering from a clotting disorder in her lungs and as such receiving oxygen therapy, was diagnosed with a spinal injury upon admittance to the hospital.

Mrs Seagrave was connected to an oxygen cylinder overnight. However, this did not provide an endless supply of oxygen and the gas ran out at around six o’clock in the morning. As a result, Mrs Seagrave died from a cardiorespiratory arrest.

An inquest was launched into the circumstances of Mrs Seagrave’s death, where it was uncovered that she received an inadequate level of care from the hospital staff. Mrs Seagrave’s family subsequently made a claim against the hospital for wrongful death due to their failure in measuring oxygen levels.

The family’s solicitor conducted their own investigation, and discovered that, in light of her existing condition, Mrs Seagrave should have been allocated a high-dependency ward. Additionally, she should have been monitored hourly and connected to a continuous supply of oxygen.

However, the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust deny liability for Mrs Seagrave’s death, despite evidence against them. Even so, the claim never made it to court, having been settled through out-of-court negotiations for an undisclosed figure.

Mrs Seagrave’s daughter, Sue, has said since that: “We trusted that staff caring for our mother whilst she was in hospital would give her the very best quality of care available and to discover after she had passed away that her oxygen supply had run out during the night and not replaced is simply unacceptable”.

“We are disappointed that the Trust has not accepted responsibility formally for what happened to our mother – I hope that after what happened to my mother, all staff at the hospital receive all the training they need to ensure that these mistakes can never happen again.”