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UK Hospital Injury Claims

In the UK, hospital injury claims enable you to recover compensation when you have been injured inside a hospital due to the negligence of the hospital authority or by a medical practitioner employed by the hospital authority. Hospital injury claims for compensation can be made if you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to a breach in a duty of care owed to you or a loved one by a medical practitioner – provided it can be demonstrated that the medical practitioner demonstrated a poor medical performance which led to your injury. If you, or somebody close to you, has sustained an injury in a hospital, you are invited to discuss the circumstances and your eligibility to make hospital injury claims in the UK with an experienced hospital injury claims solicitor on our freephone helpline.

Value of Claim for Bed Sores Compensation still to be Determined

September 26, 2014

The value of a successful claim for bed sores compensation is still to be determined after the judge presiding over the case allowed more time for calculations to be completed.

In 2008, sixty-one years old Christine Reaney from Burntwood in Staffordshire developed myelitis – a rare spinal cord condition which paralysed Christine from the chest down. Subsequently she underwent long spells of treatment at three Staffordshire hospitals – the Cannock Chase Hospital, the Stafford Hospital and the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary.

During extended stays in the three hospitals between December 2008 and October 2009, Christine developed severe bed sores. Despite being first identified in January 2009, the bed sores developed into a serious condition which caused Christine to sustain a bone marrow infection and damage to her leg muscle tissues which caused a dislocated hip.

Christine sought legal advice, and made a claim for bed sores compensation against the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust – the two Trusts responsible for managing care at the three hospitals.

In her claim for bed sores compensation, Christine claimed that staff and failed to take appropriate measures when the sores were first identified and that her subsequent injuries were due to a failure in care. Following an investigation into the allegations, the two NHS Trusts acknowledge their responsibility for allowing the bed sores to develop into a serious condition and issued an apology.

However, there was a breakdown in negotiations over how much compensation for bed sores Christine was entitled to, and the case was subsequently heard by Mr Justice Foskett at the High Court in London. At the hearing Mr Justice Foskett was told that Christine was expected to live into her 80s despite her paralysing condition, and would need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

Judge Foskett adjourned the hearing for calculations to be completed on Christine´s future care requirements but, speaking after the case, Christine´s solicitors estimated that the final settlement of her claim for bed sores compensation could be between £2 million and £3 million.

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Compensation Claims for Personal Injuries Against the NHS Increase by almost One Fifth

June 5, 2013

The number of compensation claims for personal injuries against the NHS has increased by almost one-fifth in the past year according to figures released by the Compensation Recovery Unit of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The DWP´s Compensation Recovery Unit is responsible for claiming back the cost of healthcare and certain state benefits from claimants who have made successful compensation claims for personal injuries against the NHS.

In the year 2012/13, statistics recently released show that 16,006 compensation claims for personal injuries against the NHS were registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit – an increase of 2,489 over the corresponding figures for 2011/12 and nearly double the number of NHS personal injuries compensation claims made in 2007/08 (8,876).

Commenting on the increasing trend, a spokesperson from the Department of Health said “Whilst we know the vast majority of patients get good, safe care, the best way to reduce compensation claims is to improve patient safety further – and this is a priority.” However, the news of the number of NHS personal injuries compensation claims registered last year caused alarm in many circles.

Chairperson of the Commons Public Accounts Committee – Margaret Hodge – described the figures as “deeply worrying” and stated that the quality of healthcare provided by the NHS was a “major concern”, while Chief Executive of the Patients Association – Katherine Murphy – commented “I think the public has become far less tolerant about putting up with appalling failings in care, but most people only pursue legal action when every other avenue has failed”.

Ms Murphy´s opinion was mirrored by a leading medical negligence solicitor who said “In the past, victims of medical accidents often had moral reservations about claiming against the NHS, despite having clearly suffered extreme negligence in some cases, but the shocking findings of the Francis report have now made hospitals fair game in the eyes of the public.”

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Gynaecological Medical Negligence Compensation after Unapproved Termination

December 13, 2012

A woman, who was found to be fourteen weeks pregnant during a hysterectomy procedure, has successfully made a claim for gynaecological medical negligence compensation after unapproved termination against the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The woman who is to remain anonymous, had the hysterectomy procedure in November 2007, during which it was found that she had been pregnant for fourteen weeks pregnant. The procedure had been permitted to continue despite the consultant gynaecologist noticing that her (the patient’s) uterus was “abnormally large” but, by the time the unborn child had been discovered, the woman´s cervix had been taken out and a continuation of the pregnancy was no longer possible.

The woman made her claim for gynaecological medical negligence after unapproved termination compensation on the grounds that the avoidable termination of the foetus stopped her and her partner from having the son they longed for and, although she had suffered no physical injury due to the serious mistake, both she and her partner had suffered a major emotional trauma when the consultant´s negligence had been admitted claimed that, had she known she was pregnant at the time of the hysterectomy procedure, she would not have gone ahead with the surgical operation.

Following an investigation into the incident, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust accepted that an “inadvertent termination” had happened and acknowledged their liability in the patient´s gynaecological medical negligence compensation claim. After talks with the woman´s solicitors, an out-of-court medical negligence settlement of £62.000 in gynaecological negligence compensation was agreed upon.

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Deadly Drug Blunder Led to Patient’s Death

July 4, 2012

The family of Albert Matthews, 65, formerly of Broseley in Shropshire, have agreed a 15,000 pounds hospital injury compensation settlement with the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, after they admitted medical negligence which led to Mr. Matthews’ death.

Mr Matthews had been brought to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford in September 2006, complaining of a shortness of breath. He thought to have pneumonia in his upper lung, hospitalised and given Tramadol and Haloperidol.

His condition continued to deteriorate, and several days later he was administered with 4mg of the painkilling drug Lorazepam. The cocktail of painkillers and sedatives sent Mr Matthews into respiratory arrest, which lead to cardiac arrest and he died the next day.

In the compensation case against the hospital, it was claimed that these three drugs were known to affect breathing when administered together, and that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust had failed in their duty of care towards Mr. Matthews.

The Trust initially denied the claim – stating that appropriate medical treatment had been given – but have now accepted that the combination of drugs did lead to Mr. Matthews’ premature death and have apologised to the family as well as agreeing to a compensation payment of 15,000 pounds.

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Infant Injury Compensation Approved for Burn Injury

December 4, 2011

A child, whose foot was burned by a nurse attempting to carry out a blood test, was had a infant injury compensation settlement of 10,500 Euros approved in Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court.

Fabien Napierski (4) of Kinlough, County Leitrim, was just four days of age when the accident happened during a routine medical procedure at his home.

An unnamed nurse, who was preparing to take a blood sample, used warm water from a recently boiled kettle to warm the baby´s foot, burning him in the process.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that despite the fact that the accident had occurred in 2007, the Health Service Executive had only just made an offer for burn injury compensation of 10,500 Euros.

The infant injury compensation settlement, which was made without admission of liability, was approved by the judge, who ordered that the funds be paid into court until Fabien reaches the age of eighteen.

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Rib Hospital Injury Claim Settled

March 16, 2011

A woman who woke from surgery to discover her right arm was paralysed, has settled her claim for medical negligence against St. James’s Hospital in Dublin.

Martina Coyne (39), had suffered all her life with the congenital abnormality of an extra rib. The rib caused her to experience pain and some discomfort in the right side of her neck and chest and, in August 2000, she was admitted to the hospital to have it removed.

However, on awaking from her surgery, Martina find that she could not move her right arm while at the same time it was causing her intense pain. It was claimed in the High Court that Martina had asked her doctors to amputate the arm because of the pain she was experiencing.

After investigation, it was argued, that damage had been sustained to the blood vessels supplying blood to Martina’s arm, and corrective surgery was required to mend the damage caused by medical negligence.

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Confusion Reigns over Faulty Hip Replacements

January 26, 2011

Despite assurances by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that the vast majority of people who had DePuy Orthopaedics hip replacements implanted will not need revision surgical procedures, an expert professor from Newcastle has claimed that as many as 50% of Irish victims would need new hips within 6 years.

Dr. Thomas Joyce, a reader in biotribology at the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University, has stated during a recent conference in Dublin that, of the 3,516 DePuy hip replacement systems that have been implanted in Ireland since 2003, about 50% will need replacing within 6 years.

His claims are based on studies of over 500 DePuy hip replacement patients in the U.K. – more than half of whom have experienced a joint failure within this period due to the “metallic wear debris” that can cause tissue damage and weaken the bone surrounding the implant. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc has already acknowledged a “higher than expected” failure rate and recalled the faulty ASR Articular Surface and ASR XL Acetabular systemslast year.

However, the HSE states that it has already carried blood tests and precautionary x-rays on 2,022 patients as a precautionary measure, and has found very few who currently require revision surgery. They will continue monitoring the patients over a five year period under an agreement with DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.

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Epilepsy Misdiagnosis Hospital Compensation Paid to Over 600 Patients

November 19, 2010

618 former patients of a paediatric neurologist, who were negligently diagnosed as suffering from epilepsy, have received epilepsy misdiagnosis hospital compensation payments totalling more than 8 million pounds.

The patients, who were all children when it occurred, were negligently diagnosed with epilepsy by Dr Andrew Holton at the Leicester Royal Infirmary between 1990 and 2001, despite many of them only displaying symptoms of headaches or even just misbehaving. One child, having been prescribed a cocktail of anti-convulsant drugs by Dr Holton for ten years, was later diagnosed as having suffered from autism throughout the whole period.

Following a range of complaints by parents that the medication prescribed for their children´s epilepsy conditions caused the children to suffer side-effects such as blackouts and drug-induced hazes, the General Medical Council (GMC) suspended the doctor from duty and, in 2006, ruled that his professional performance had been “seriously deficient”. The Leicester Royal Infirmary was also criticised in a Department of Health inquiry for their reaction to claims of medical negligence and lack of effective management.

The payments of hospital compensation for epilepsy misdiagnosis have been made throughout the year, and have ranged in value from a thousand pounds to one of 240,000 pounds.

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Hospital Injury Compensation Settlement for Fatal Lack of Care

November 12, 2010

The widow of a 60 year old man, who died in hospital after a routine operation, has agreed a five figure hospital injury compensation settlement after Trafford Healthcare Trust admitted a lack of care in his case.

Chris Harper (60), previously of Salford, Manchester, was a fit and active father of three when admitted to Trafford General Hospital in March 2007 for a routine hip operation. However, after the operation Chris started to suffer pains in his side and chest, and a shortness of breath. Chris died one week later from a blood clot.

In the claim for hospital injury compensation against the hospital, it was alleged that staff were slow to respond to Chris’s complaints and also that he was not given specialist stockings to prevent blood clots. It was also alleged that Chris was not given any physiotherapy until three days after the operation, whereas post-operative support of this nature usually starts on the same day.

After a coroner’s inquest had returned a ruling of misadventure, Mrs. Harper sought legal advice and subsequently filed a claim for medical negligence.  Trafford Healthcare Trust conceded that their lack of care had resulted in Chris’s death and the five figure settlement was agreed.

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Hospital Injury Compensation for Undiagnosed Brain Tumour

September 13, 2010

A former Church of England assistant minister, whose brain tumour was left unattended for three years, is to receive a substantial out of court settlement for hospital injury compensation.

Adrian Underwood, 42, from Birmingham, had been studying a theology course in Nottingham in 2001, when he started to experience severe headaches. He was taken to Nottingham University Hospital, where he underwent a brain scan which revealed a growth inside his skull, but no further action was taken and Adrian was discharged – being told he had nothing more serious than a migraine.

Adrian was unable to finish his course – returning to Birmingham to take the position of a curate. However, his health continued to deteriorate, and it was during a medical investigation in 2004 to determine why Adrian was losing his sight that the much enlarged brain tumour was noticed after a scan at Birmingham Eye Hospital.

An emergency operation removed a tumour the size of a lemon, which had forced down on Adrian’s brain and formed a lump in his head. Adrian now suffers from regular fatigue and epilepsy as a result of this error – medical conditions which could have been avoided if the tumour had been removed after the initial scan.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability.

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