UK Medical Malpractice

Claim Settled for Mother who had Surgical Implements Left in her After Birth

Posted on: February 29th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

A woman, who had surgical packaging left in her after she gave birth to her son at the Hull Women and Children’s Hospital, has settled her claim for compensation.

The patient, Elise Cattle – aged twenty-seven – gave birth to her son Freddie in August 2012. However, for months after the birth Ms Cattle experienced sever pain, bleeding and infections that interfered with her ability to care for her new baby. She was unable to carry out basic parental care, and as such Freddie’s grandparents had to undertake the care of the baby, reducing Ms Cattle’s bonding time with her newborn.

After five long months of ineffective treatment through her GP, Elise was referred to a specialist who discovered that surgical packaging used during the birth to stem any bleeding had been mistakingly left inside her. Upon its removal, Elise’s symptoms disappeared.

Elise sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for medical negligence against the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust, who oversee the running of the hospital where she gave birth. An investigation into the mistake was conducted and the Trust admitted full liability for Elise’s injuries. Negotiations were carried out between the parties, and a settlement of compensation of £7,500 was agreed upon.

After the resolution of the claim, Elise recounted to a local 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.”

Her legal representatives added: “It is accepted by the NHS that these errors are being made simply because healthcare staff and providers are not following clear, simple guidelines.” The Chief Nurse for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Mike Wright, told the newspaper that “when mistakes do happen, we are committed to being open and honest about them”

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.”

Hospitals Offer Compensation for Errors in Treatment to Twenty-Seven Cancer Patients

Posted on: October 17th, 2014 by Medical Negligence

Two NHS hospitals are offering compensation for errors in treatment to twenty-seven cancer patients, whose health was compromised by a consultant urologist who failed to carry out established and recognised cancer treatments.

The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has made the offer of compensation for errors in treatment to twenty-seven patients who attended the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill and the Spire Gatwick Park Hospital in Horley between 2006 and 2013.

The offer follows an investigation into consultant urologist Paul Millar and more than 1,200 patients he treated while employed by the two hospitals. The investigation was launched after fellow consultants and specialist nurses voiced concerns to hospital authorities.

The investigation concluded that Miller had not “followed the advice of multi-disciplinary teams in carrying out established and recognised cancer treatments” and a review was initiated into the healthcare he had provided to patients suffering from bladder and prostate cancer.

The review found twenty-seven cases in which patients had suffered avoidable side effects or the unnecessary progression of their disease due to the treatments they were given and Millar´s contract of employment was terminated. There is also a high likelihood of the cancer returning for these patients.

All of the patients whose cases were reviewed in the investigation are being sent letters informing them that their medical records were included in the investigation, but those to the twenty-seven affected by Mr Millar´s negligence include a request to get in touch with the NHS Trust “to enable compensation to be considered and paid”.

The Trust´s Medical Director – Des Holden – acknowledged that the letters will be deeply distressing to the twenty-seven patients and their families. He said that the care provided by the consultant urologist was below the hospital´s standards and he apologised to those who had suffered an avoidable injury or the deterioration of their condition.

The Trust´s Chief Executive – Michael Wilson – added “Without a shadow of a doubt we apologise unreservedly for the care these patients experienced”. He added a helpline had been set up for concerned patients and their families (0808 168 7754) and that the telephone lines will be open from Monday to Friday between 11:00am and 7:00pm.

Patients and their families who have questions about how much compensation for errors in treatment they might be entitled to should call our 24-hour medical negligence claims assessment service.

Compensation for Mismanaged Birth Approved in Court

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by Medical Negligence

A woman, who was starved of oxygen at birth and has suffered a lifetime of learning difficulties, has had a settlement of compensation for her mismanaged birth approved at London´s Royal Courts of Justice.

Susanne Turner (45) from Wittersham in Kent was born at Buchanan Street Hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea after a delayed Caesarean operation due to neither a surgeon nor an anaesthetist being available to perform the procedure. As a result, Susanne was deprived of oxygen in the womb, unable to breathe independently when she was born and suffered severe brain damage.

Susanne´s parents – Christopher and Sandra – raised Susanne without assistance, and unaware that they were entitled to claim compensation for the mismanaged birth, until they read a magazine article which explained Susanne´s rights to compensation.

When they sought legal advice about their situation, Christopher and Sandra discovered that – as Susanne did not have the mental capacity to bring a claim for mismanaged birth compensation herself – they were still within the time frame allowed to sue the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for the negligent situation which had occurred in 1967.

After reviewing the claim for mismanaged birth compensation, South East Coast Strategic Health Authority quickly admitted their liability for Susanne´s birth injury and, at the Royal Courts of Justice, issued a formal apology for the mismanagement of Susanne´s birth.

Approving the settlement of compensation for mismanaged birth, which will take the form of annual payments and a lump sum payment to pay for a specially-adapted home for Susanne, judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies paid tribute to Christopher and Sandra´s “love and devotion”. The settlement is estimated to be worth 4.2 million pounds and will provide Susanne with the care she needs for the rest of her life.

GMC Admits One-in-Twenty Prescribed Wrong Medication

Posted on: September 4th, 2013 by Medical Negligence

Research conducted for the General Medical Council has revealed that one-in-twenty prescriptions issued by GPs contain an error – with the most serious cases being where a patient has been prescribed the wrong medication.

Researchers from Nottingham University looked at a sample of GP practices in England and found that where there were errors most were classed as mild or moderate – the most common errors being missing information on dosage and prescribing an incorrect dosage.

However, around one in every five hundred prescription items was judged to contain a serious error – with the potentially most damaging involving the prescribing of anti-inflammatory medicines without first checking if patients were at risk of a stomach bleed.

Despite the study revealing that GPs were also found to be failing to monitor blood tests and patients prescribed blood-thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Professor Tony Avery, Professor of Primary Health Care at the University of Nottingham said in his report “Few prescriptions were associated with significant risks to patients but it’s important that we do everything we can to avoid all errors.”

Chair of the General Medical Council, Professor Sir Peter Rubin, commented on the report by saying, “GPs are typically very busy, so we have to ensure they can give prescribing the priority it needs. Using effective computer systems to ensure potential errors are flagged and patients are monitored correctly is a very important way to minimise errors. Doctors and patients could also benefit from greater involvement from pharmacists in supporting prescribing and monitoring.”

As a result of the research, and a study in 2009 that examined the number of times patients were prescribed the wrong medicine by junior doctors in hospitals, the General Medical Council has increased its emphasis on correct prescription techniques in medical school curricula. However, for those patients who have suffered an injury due to being prescribed the wrong medicine, these steps are too little, too late.

If you have sustained a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to a prescription error, you should speak with a personal injury solicitor at the first possible opportunity about claiming compensation for being prescribed wrong medicine.