Month: March 2014

NHS: North Yorkshire Baby Death

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted liability over the stillbirth of Abbie Horner in 2011.

High Risk

Deborah Horner’s pregnancy was considered high risk – at the time of her pregnancy, she was 43 years old. She was also known to have previously suffered a miscarriage.

However, the hospital trust has admitted to flaws in the care provided to Mrs Horner, despite her high risk status.

Mrs Horner commented:

“I want them to make a formal apology, it’s horrendous,
it’s a living nightmare, it never goes away,
it’s never going to get any better.”We just want to stop it happening to someone else.”

Hospital Investigation

An investigation into care failings at the hospital revealed that staff had misinterpreted a foetal heart trace, and that records were not kept accurately.

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, commented:

“The events leading up to the loss of Abbie fell far short of the high standards
of care we normally provide and for this I am very sorry.”A full investigation led by a senior doctor was undertaken into the
failure to recognise and escalate concerns in the labour care.

“This report has been shared with Mr and Mrs Horner and I
can reassure them that we are committed to using this to
ensure we learn from every aspect of what happened.”

The midwife at the centre of the investigation was relieved of her duties. She was referred to the local supervisory authority midwifery officer, and has since retired.

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Machining Company – Accident at Work

A worker has been injured at work in Dorset following an incident with unguarded machinery.

What Happened?

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court heard that the male employee (who does not wish to be named) had mistakenly set the machinery to operate a greater rate of revolutions than was necessary.

As a result, metal objects were ejected at high speed through the unguarded door of the lathe. These objects struck the worker and caused severe bruising – the man was unable to return to work for several weeks.

What was the Outcome?

HSE was able to establish that had the guards been in place, the speed of the machine would have been limited – meaning that the incident would have been less likely to occur.

HSE also found that safeguards had been disabled on three other machines in the factory. The company was served with Prohibition Notices (ceasing the use of the unguarded machinery with immediate effect) and an Improvement Notice (relating to monitoring safety guards)

TG Engineering Ltd, of Sterling Business Park, Ferndown Industrial Estate, Dorset, was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,369

HSE inspector Matthew Tyler commented:

“Using the interlocking guards provided with the machine would have prevented access to
dangerous parts and reduced the risk of ejection of materials and entanglement.

“The disabling of interlocks is a common failure in engineering companies
and this prosecution should serve as a reminder to the risks involved.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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Traumatic Brain Injury – Survivors

Who is this person? Why has he changed? He doesn’t seem to be the same person anymore? Why is he aggressive towards me? Why is he always angry? Why doesn’t he think before he says such hurtful things?

Do these questions sound familiar?

These are questions that have been regularly put to Hampson Hughes by the mother of a brain injured young man. Joanne is a solicitor specialising in Traumatic Brain Injury at Hampson Hughes.

Joanne acts for David, who was involved in a serious road traffic collision almost 3 years ago. David suffered what the medics described a severe traumatic brain injury. Joanne has been involved with David’s case and his family since his admission to hospital following the horrific accident.

David is Joanne’s client but due to the severe nature of his injury, his family’s lives have also been turned upside down. Joanne has been the point of contact for the family from the outset of the case.

When in hospital David was placed into a medically induced coma in order for his brain to effectively switch off and heal. Medical staff monitored his progress and after a few days he was slowly brought back to consciousness.

When David did come around he had no memory of the accident, nor did he know why he was in hospital. He didn’t really understand what was going on. He was frightened and convinced himself that he was being kept there against his will. David’s family were devastated that he did not initially recognise them. He was aggressive, he shouted at the nurses, he was confused.

As time went on, it became apparent that David was not able to feed himself. He was so confused that he did not realise the food that had been placed in front of him, was in fact, his. His mum visited the hospital for about 8 hours every day. She was there at mealtimes so that she could physically feed David and ensure he was getting the nutrients his body needed.

David was not able to walk so his mum would take care of his personal hygiene by wheeling him into the wet room and showering him. David’s mum did all of this on auto pilot. She wanted to care for her son.

On discharge, David lived with his parents and they did everything for him. He was not able to return to his pre accident employment as an electrician. He had lost all of his friends. He did not want to socialise. His adult brothers and sisters did not fully understand what had happened and how he had been affected by his brain injury.

This injury caused a rift in the family and this proved stressful for everyone involved. Feeling alone, David became depressed. He was turning into a different person than the man he was before the accident. He also suffered extreme fatigue which meant by 2pm each day, he felt as though he had hit a brick wall.

Nearly 3 years down the line, she wonders how she managed. She would say, ‘I just had to. I am his mum.’ David’s mum and dad have suffered depression as a result of the injury which he sustained. They continue to struggle with the illness and more recently, reality has hit home again for David’s mum. She has had to seek counselling for relatives of a brain injured person. Joanne has found a lady who specifically deals with brain injury and has put much needed counselling in place for David’s mum and dad as their lives have been devastated by what has happened to their son.

Although David is now living independently of them as his parents, he will never be independent in the sense that we understand the meaning of independent to be. He lives with a team of support workers who Joanne has put in place. They specialise in supporting those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Joanne has sourced an excellent neuropsychologist who treats David weekly to deal with his anxiety and depression as well as the things that come up which cause him undue stress. David is not able to do a lot on his own so Joanne has put in place an occupational therapist who can help with the tasks that he struggles with and ensures that he is safe when he does his ironing and cooking.

David is not able to manage his own affairs due to memory and concentration problems. He is very impulsive which means he struggles to plan. This means that he cannot plan the day ahead like we all do each and every day. He is not able to cook on his own as his safety would be severely compromised. He is not able to work at all as his fatigue sets in by early afternoon and this prevents him from doing anything other than what is absolutely necessary.

The support team help with his activities of daily living which include supporting him with his household chores, his post that comes in, making medical appointments, and preparing and cooking meals to ensure he eats a balanced diet. David has now reached a plateau in his recovery and the support which he has in place will remain for the rest of his life. This may sound daunting but as a parent, they are happy and safe in the knowledge that David will be cared for by the team and will be financially looked after even when they are no longer able to be around. All of this has been arranged and put in place by David’s legal team at Hampson Hughes Solicitors.

A Traumatic Brain Injury does not just affect the person who has suffered the injury. The family are those closest and often it is they who notice the severe or subtle changes in their loved one. It is more often the case that the injured person has no real insight into how they have been affected and they often think it is those around them who have changed. This is a common occurrence. It must be remembered though that help is available for families who are also suffering as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury.

UK: Skin Cancer and Delays in Cancer Treatment

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that an average of 270,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK.

1 in 4 deaths in the UK are cancer related – an average of 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime.

Skin Cancer

‘Skin cancer’ is a broad term used to describe two main types of skin cancer:

  • Melanoma – this develops deep within the skin, and can spread quickly to other organs. Melanoma is responsible for 2000+ deaths each year in the UK.
  • Non-melanoma – The two most common types of non-melanomas are basal cell carcinomas (75%), and squamous cell carcinomas (20%). Non-melanomas develop slowly in the upper layers of the skin, and are one of the most common types of cancer in the world – over 100,000 diagnoses are made each year in the UK.

Those most at risk of developing any one of the different types of skin cancer are those with red hair or blonde hair; those with pale skin; and those with lots of moles or freckles.

Overexposure to UV light is a major factor in developing the condition (although in some cases the disease may be hereditary or linked to lifestyle choices). Wearing sunscreen and avoiding sunbeds will help to decrease your chances of developing skin cancer.

Cancer in the UK

Cancer Research UK reports that the four most prominent forms of cancer in the UK are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bowel cancer

The incidence of malignant melanoma has increased year on year in both men and women in the UK, with an average of around 5 cases per 100,000 people in 1983, and an average of around 17 cases per 100,000 people in 2010.

Delays in Cancer Treatment

The most recent statistics published by NHS England show that in 2012-2013, 95.5% of urgent cancer referrals made by a GP were seen by a specialist within 14 days.

Of those urgent GP referrals, 1.6% of patients did not begin treatment within 31 days. When this time-frame is doubled to 62 days, the percentage of patients who did not begin treatment – following an urgent GP referral – increases to 12.8%.

A survey by Cancer Research UK shows that in the case of lung cancer in particular, only 64% of patients felt that they had received a “prompt hospital referral”.

The research also discovered that 57% of the patients polled had not been accurately informed regarding their diagnosis.

Claiming with Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you feel that your cancer diagnosis was at any time delayed or mishandled, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Our professional and friendly Medical Negligence Team is here to provide you with expert support and guidance – we will handle your claim with the compassion and due diligence that you deserve.

For further information about delays in cancer diagnosis and delays in cancer treatment, and to find out how we can help you, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0151 242 1025 or email medicalnegligence@hampsonhughes.com.

Girl Loses Battle with Cervical Cancer Aged 19

A 19 year old girl from the Wirral has lost her battle with cervical cancer.

What Happened?

Sophie Jones, of Eastham, was diagnosed with the disease in November last year. The teenager had suffered for several months with intense pain in her stomach – this was initially thought to have been Crohn’s disease.

Sophie requested a smear test, but her request was not granted.*

Upon being admitted to hospital, medical staff discovered Sophie’s condition, and that her cancer had spread to other parts of her body.

Sophie’s sister Steph said:

“She was just the life and soul of everything, and just lit the place up. She was always a very calming influence on everyone around her, and she loved being with her friends.

“This should never, ever have happened to her.”

Cervical cancer is rare in women under the age of 25. This could be a reason as to why Sophie’s request for a smear test was not granted.

How We Can All Help

Family friend Pamela Keelan has set up an online petition. The petition is aimed at bringing the debate to parliament over lowering the UK screening age for cervical cancer to 16.

Sophie’s Choice has gained almost 50,000 signatures – Parliament is obliged to debate the matter once the petition reaches 100,000 signatures (you can join the petition by clicking the link)

Claiming with Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you feel that your cancer diagnosis was at any time delayed or mishandled, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Our professional and friendly Medical Negligence Team is here to provide you with expert support and guidance – we will handle your claim with the compassion and due diligence that you deserve.

For further information about delays in cancer diagnosis and delays in cancer treatment, and to find out how we can help you, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0151 242 1025 or email medicalnegligence@hampsonhughes.com.

*establishing GP negligence in such cases relies on proving that the medical practitioner did not adhere to the current guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). For further information on cervical cancer screening guidelines in the UK, please visit cancerscreening.nhs.uk

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Head Trauma in Sports

Chris Nowinski is a retired WWE wrestler better known by his stage name, Chris Harvard. He was forced to retire in 2007 following a head injury sustained during a wrestling match.

His documentary “Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis” premieres in London, Tuesday 11th March.

Head injury

Nowinski was kicked in the head by Bubba Ray Dudley (real name Mark LoMonaco) during a wrestling match in 2003. He suffered 5 years of post-concussion syndrome, which included headaches, sleepwalking, and memory problems.

In the USA, the law ensures that young people and their parents are educated regarding the risk of sport-related concussion. However, no such laws exist in the UK.

Nowinski says:

“This isn’t just an American football problem, this isn’t just a boxing problem. All of these sports that involve a lot of brain trauma are putting athletes at risk.”

Nowinski is currently campaigning for greater education in the UK over the risk of sports related head injuries.

The documentary will also be available online and on DVD.

Head and brain injury compensation claims

If you have been affected by a sports related head injury, and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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Dog Attack Leaves Woman with Life Changing Injuries

A 22 year old woman has been seriously injured in a dog attack involving what is believed to have been an American Pitbull Terrier.

Dog attack

Staff at the Lincoln County hospital alerted police after the woman was admitted at around 10:30PM last night. Police immediately warned residents to stay indoors while a hunt for the animal was conducted.

Armed police and a police helicopter were involved in the search.

Insp Michelle McIlroy said:

“She has suffered quite devastating injuries. They are not described as life-threatening, but certainly life-changing.”

The animal – which was not owned by the woman – was captured by police at around 1:30AM this morning and is now in kennels.

Dog attack compensation claims

If you have been injured following a dog attack, you could be entitled to claim personal injury compensation. Call our team of expert solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

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Paul Hampson & John Hughes Visit 10 Downing Street

Paul Hampson and John Hughes, joint Managing Directors of Hampson Hughes Solicitors, travelled to London recently to meet the wife of Prime Minister, David Cameron.

They were invited to a private reception with Samantha Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street along with representatives of national children’s charity, Caudwell Children.

This follows the duo’s decision to fund the charity’s new Merseyside and North West Family Support Service, which provides practical and emotional support to families caring for disabled children across the region.

Paul Hampson said:

“Having represented families with children that have suffered life-changing and debilitating injuries, we know only too well the unique challenges they face.”

The firm has also recently launched a charitable foundation to support Positive Futures, Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young and the Children’s Cancer Support Group during 2014.

The chosen charities were put forward and voted on by staff and the trustees. The money raised will be divided between them with specific fundraising activities arranged in partnership with each of the charities.

Paul Hampson added:

“Over the years staff from Hampson Hughes Solicitors have raised tens of thousands of pounds for local charities. This was a fantastic achievement and something we really wanted to build on in 2014.”

Schoolgirl Sustains Serious Injuries in Lift Shaft Fall

A schoolgirl has suffered serious injuries following a 5m fall down a lift shaft at Liberton High School in Edinburgh.

What Happened?

In a prosecution brought by the Health and safety Executive (HSE), Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Morgan Seaton, then aged 15, and three other pupils had become trapped in a lift halfway between the first and second floors.

Miss Seaton called the school office from her mobile phone, and teachers arrived to discover that the lower third of the lift was visible from the 1st floor lift doors.

One boy was lowered down to safety, but Miss Seaton’s escape attempt was poorly executed, and resulted in a stumble down the open lift shaft.

What was the Result?

Miss Seaton sustained three fractured vertebrae, bruising across her lower back, and a sprained wrist – requiring several months of physiotherapy.

The fire service discovered that the power to the lift had not been isolated, meaning that the lift may have begun to move at any time.

HSE discovered that the council had failed to provide staff with the proper training in dealing with such instances, and that a risk assessment had not been carried out.

City of Edinburgh Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The council was fined £8,000.

HSE Inspector Hazel Dobb commented:

“The teachers were well intentioned in their attempts to help, but had they received suitable information and guidance on how to deal with trapped people in lifts they would have called for help and not put pupils at such risk of injury.”

Personal injury claims – expert advice

If you think you may have been affected by a trip, slip or fall that was not your fault, and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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Founders of Hampson Hughes Solicitors Meet Sam Cam

Paul Hampson and John Hughes, joint managing directors of Hampson Hughes Solicitors, are to travel to London to meet with the wife of prime minister, David Cameron.

They have been invited to a private reception with Samantha Cameron along with representatives of national children’s charity, Caudwell Children.

This follows their partnership with the charity in which they agreed to fund a new Merseyside Family Support Service, which will provide practical and emotional support to thousands of families caring for disabled children across the region.

Read more here.