After suffering irreversible brain damage as a result of delays in treatment of her brain tumour, one Maidstone woman has recently received a £4.5 million award for medical negligence compensation.
According to the personal injury claim filed with the courts, when Frances Bowra, 48 years old, collapsed in her Maidstone, Kent home due to suffering from vomiting and violent headaches, she was immediately rushed to the General District Hospital in Maidstone. Later she was transferred to South London’s King’s College Hospital where she was the recipient of emergency medical treatment in order to help relieve the pressure that had built up in her cranial cavity.
After Mrs. Bowra’s legal team argued successfully at the High Court in London that not only was her rapid deterioration a result of the delay in her condition’s diagnosis but also the further delay in her transfer to the King’s College Hospital. The High Court saw fit to award Mrs. Bowra with a personal injury compensation payment of £4.5 million as a result of her medical negligence claim.
Now having to rely on the care of others due to her brain injuries, Mrs Bowra is partly paralysed and also suffers from impaired vision. Mrs. Bowra’s husband, Kenneth, stated that none of his wife’s hopes and wishes can possibly ever exist and will never be fulfilled due to her injuries.
A Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone NHS Trust spokesperson stated that both a delay in the proper diagnosis and a delay in providing the appropriate treatment for Mrs. Bowra did indeed occur. The spokesperson also issued an apology on behalf of the trust to Mrs. Bowra and her family for the mistakes that were made regarding her treatment.
After a clinical expert failed to remove a mole from one patient that soon afterwards was diagnosed with skin cancer, the former patient has filed a medical negligence claim in excess of £300,000 against the National Health Service.
Mr Jon Edmonds is pursuing a personal injury claim for damages as a result of one North Bristol NHS Trust doctor allegedly committed professional negligence for refusing to remove a mole from Mr. Edmonds’ shoulder five years ago. The North Bristol Trust employs over 9,000 staff across two separate hospitals.
Five years after his doctor’s refusal to remove the mold, the 42 year old father of four was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma, or skin cancer, as a result of the skin blemish. His chances of surviving past the year 2015 has been described by medical professionals as about 50 per cent.
As a result of that initial refusal by his doctor to remove the mole, which was due to the procedure to do so being classified as simply cosmetic, Mr Edmonds has filed a claim for £300,000 in personal injury compensation from the NHS on the grounds that his condition, which is potentially fatal, could have been avoided.
Mr Edmonds has stated that his medical treatment has left him quite angry, since as a result of this alleged act of professional medical negligence his life has been put in jeopardy.
Mr Edmonds was first alerted to his dangerous condition last year when a scar that was near the mole began to change in colour. After visiting his GP, he was referred to a clinic for removal of the blemish. Several days later however he was informed that he had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Since that time the cancer has begun to spread to different parts of Mr Edmonds’ body in a process called metastasis.
One grieving widow recently received a £100,000 medical negligence payout as a result of her husband’s untimely death by drug overdose while in hospital.
Admitted to Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham in July of 2007 for a routine chemotherapy session as part of his cancer treatment, Mr Paul Richards received the incorrect dosage of a fungicide and died hours afterwards. The dosage on the medicine he was given, Amphotericin, was five times the amount recommended for treatment; between one junior doctor and two nurses, the mistake was not caught in time to save the man’s life. Worse yet the same mistake was made later that day with another patient, also resulting in death.
The foundation trust for Heart of England NHS, after admitting that gross failures in care had occurred, have agreed to pay £100,000 in personal injury compensation to the widow of Mr Richards. The Trust will additionally compensate the family members of the other victim of medical negligence and has also vowed to improve standards at the medical facility.
Often administered to cancer patients, Amphotericin is beneficial because their weakened immune systems can make them susceptible to a fungal infection, but as the medication can cause kidney damage the dosage levels must be monitored very carefully by medical staff.
One medical negligence industry expert commented that in some ways such cases as Mr Richards’ are quite tragic, since every trust has a detailed set of procedures in place for drug administration. This is especially true for highly potent drugs such as ones routinely used in chemotherapy, the expert continued, because of the high toxicity of the medications.
For three separate medical staff to make such egregious mistakes on not one but two patients indicates more than just individual mistakes but failures on a procedural level, the expert concluded.
NHS Trusts in the West Midlands have had to pay out £33 million in damages to medical negligence victims since 2007, sources show.
West Midlands news source the Express and Star has reported that the litigation authority for the NHS has recently released data that show personal injury compensation figures. From 2007-2008, the figures show that £8.7 million was spent on compensating medical negligence victims, while the 2009-2010 figures indicate a rise to £12.6 million in compensatory damages.
In a surprising turn of events, the Dudley Group of Hospitals was indicated to be the most expensive trust, paying out £14.2 million to injured former patients over the last three years. In comparison Mid-Staffordshire Trust, which has been recently rocked by scandal, paid out a comparatively paltry £2.4 million, though the figure is not inclusive of an additional £1 million that industry experts expect to be made to the families of the victims of substandard care at the hands of Stafford Hospitals.
A Healthcare Commission investigation discovered that significantly serious hospital failings may in fact be responsible for the unnecessary deaths of between 400 and 1,200 patients from 2005 until 2008. Such failures to provide adequate care include reports of reception staff with no medical training making A&E assessments all in an alleged attempt to cut hospital costs.
Thanks to a public inquiry now underway in order to investigate the scandal, not only are there in excess of one one million pages to be examined as evidence but a large number of witnesses are now slated to be interviewed. However, Martin Yates, NHS Trust former chief executive, has stated that he has no intentions of speaking at the inquiry due to the fact that the scandal has resulted in his development of post traumatic stress disorder.
While Lord Young’s recently published report is filled with recommendations on ways to mitigate the fear of litigation that seems to permeate the business landscape in the UK, his efforts may reduce the number of people who have access to justice for their personal injury claims, one expert states.
The October 15th report, which was entitled “Common Sense, Common Safety,” is comprised of many recommended actions to take to reduce the appeal of filing overly litigious accident claims in an effort to mitigate the costs of civil litigation in the UK.
Managing partner of injury solicitors First Personal Injury holds the belief that if the suggestions Lord Young makes were to be adopted, the result will be a restriction of judicial access. Mr Jefferies feels that the proposed reforms would be unfavourable to firms such as his own, which would result in not only running them out of business but also in accident victims not gaining the personal injury compensation in which they are entitled.
While Lord Justice Jackson has made the recommendation that lawyer success fees, that are currently paid by the losing party in any lawsuit, should be paid by the client instead. Lord Jackson suggested that raising the client damages by 10 per cent would make such a change possible.
However Mr Jefferies feels that the amounts clients receive will decrease sharply from current levels if that success fee is paid by the client’s settlement figure. Mr Jefferies expressed concern that clients may run short of funds, resulting in a reduction of their standard of living or a lack of money to pay for medical care, if they are not given their full compensation amount. The entire point of the law, Mr Jefferies also stated, is that in personal injury or medical negligence cases the party found to be liable lifts them back up to a pre-negligence position.
A widow from Salford has recently been awarded a large medical negligence compensation claim on the heels of her husband’s death after he had been hospitalised for a routine procedure to replace his hip.
After both Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Trafford Healthcare Trust were found to be negligent in providing a basic level of after care to her husband that would have safeguarded her life, Mrs Patricia Harper received personal injury compensation for her husband’s death. Chris Harper died at the age of 60 due to a blood clot the week following his hip replacement surgery.
The hospital staff faced accusations of failing to respond in a timely manner in the time after Mr Harper had awakened from his surgical procedure. Mr Harper reported a feeling of breathlessness and was suffering from chest pain after his operation. Additionally the hospital staff were found to have neglected to provide specialised medical stockings to Mr Harper that are designed to prevent clots. It was also reported that Mr Harper faced a wait of three days for physiotherapy, something that is routinely given the same day as the surgical procedure.
A Trafford Healthcare Trust spokeswoman released a statement explaining how Mr Harper had been provided care from a separate health trust that had been leasing both operating theatre space and hospital beds at Trafford General Hospital. The spokeswoman continued by stating that all the procedures that were involved in the operation had been examined closely. She concluded her statement by remarking that all the organisations involved in the incident had learnt some hard lessons therein.
Additionally a Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson released a statement in which great regret was expressed in regards to the circumstances that led up to Mr Harper’s untimely death.
After being the recipient of injuries that have been called “catastrophic,” a man has been awarded High Court damages of almost £14 million in a medical negligence claim related to a kidney donation to his father.
Sitting in London, Mr Justice Spencer was told that the 38 year old – identified only in High Court documents as XYZ – lodged a personal injury claim after a February 2008 transplant operation.
During the removal of the man’s right kidney, his left kidney suffered an irreversible failure. As a result XYZ then was in need of an immediate transplant himself, which he was lucky enough to receive from his sister. Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC told the High Court that XYZ paid a dear price for coming to the aid of his father.
The Trustees for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS admitted liability in the personal injury compensation case based on the determination that the surgeon who conducted the procedure was reckless in addition to negligent. The surgeon is also to be subjected to General Medical Council proceedings for his actions.
Concerned with compensation assessment matters, the four-day-long hearing is due to the Trust’s disputation of a portion of the injured party’s claims, especially those in regards to his medical expenses and future projected earnings losses. Compensation for both amounts are considered to be potentially substantial.
Ms Gumbel stated that in order to give his father a higher quality of life for his retirement, XYZ was motivated to make kidney dialysis treatment for his father unnecessary. While this kidney donation was achieved with success, she added, the claimant did it at great cost to himself due to the life-threatening, torrential haemorrhaging that occurred throughout the course of the surgical procedure.
Ms Gumbel also added that the life of XYZ has been truncated by approximately 10 years as a result. Additionally the man now faces another transplant sometime in the inevitable future, considerable problems to his health, and also has experienced the traumatic nature of undergoing dialysis himself as well.