Paralysed composer wins medical negligence case

One composer from Birmingham has recently prevailed on the medical negligence case he brought against a West Midlands hospital after a misdiagnosis left him paralysed and wheelchair-bound, personal injury compensation experts recently reported.

Hagley, Worcestershire native, 61 year old Andrew Downes, had suffered a fall in his home in 2009 and was admitted to Russells Hall Hospital shortly thereafter for treatment.  However, medical staff at the hospital refused to have X-rays taken of his back, leading to their failure to diagnose his fractured back properly – even though he had been suffering from severe back pain – leading to the composer suffering a debilitating injury to his spinal cord.

The injured man, who has composed radio and television scores as well as orchestral music all over the world, instead received treatment for a suspected urinary tract infection.   Placed on the powerful painkiller, morphine, Mr Downes said he was left in a dream world where he drifted in and out of consciousness – until upon waking he could not feel his legs any longer, a feeling he described as truly terrifying, especially as he had been walking about 24 hours prior to the incident.

The care that Mr Downes was provided was well below the standard that he should have expected, according to The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Paula Clark.  Ms Clark offered the NHS Trust’s sincere apologies to Mr Downes for neglecting to diagnose his injury correctly, adding that additional staff training had been implemented in order to prevent the same mistakes being made in the future.

Mr Downes’ legal team has yet to reach a final settlement figure with the NHS Trust, though hospital representatives have vowed to provide the now-paralysed composer with ‘financial security’ for both him and his family.

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