Month: May 2014

Skin cancer cases in Liverpool rise significantly

Liverpool City Council has appealed to the Government to change legislation to ban unlicensed sunbed salons as figures show skin cancer cases have more than doubled across the city.

Vital statistics

The council questioned over 900 people from Liverpool, predominantly women between 21-30, and found that as many as 83% were unaware that the use of sunbeds can increase the risk of skin cancer.

The research indicated that many women are striving to achieve the ‘Liverpool look’ – creating a ‘sunbed culture’ that has resulted in more and more women putting themselves at risk of developing skin cancer.

Additionally, research from the NHS has shown that new cases of malignant melamona has increased by 129% in Liverpool women – more than double the increase that has been seen nationally.

Roy Gladden, assistant cabinet member for adult social care and health, said:

“Liverpool has significant levels of sunbed use compared to other parts of the
country, yet the City Council currently has very few powers to
protect residents from the risks of using them.

“Currently anyone who wishes to provide related cosmetic-type practices
such as tattooing and cosmetic piercing must be registered
with their local council and adhere to
health and safety standards.

“In light of the risks associated with sunbed use, we believe
there is a strong case for including sunbed operators
in this list of compulsory registration schemes.”

The importance of an early diagnosis

Whilst 88.2% of skin cancer sufferers survive, failure to properly diagnose a melanoma can have severe consequences. Treatable melanomas can rapidly spread to other areas of the body and become life threatening if not analysed and treated.

Additionally there is a risk that harmless moles can sometimes be incorrectly diagnosed; leading to unnecessary biopsies and even chemotherapy.

If you feel that you have suffered needlessly, or that you face advanced stage melanoma because of a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email

Fairground operator fined after a toddler is injured

A fairground operator has been in court after a two year old was injured falling through a gap in a perimeter fence.

What happened?

The court heard that panels were missing from the safety fence around the ride so they could be painted. The toddler was walking away from the ride when he fell four feet through one of the gaps, and injured his head and face.

He was kept in hospital under observation for 24 hours, but sustained no long-term injuries.

What was the outcome?

The Welsh company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £7,900 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Inspector, Catherine Toozer, said after the hearing:

“Fairground rides are large complex machines which have the power to
seriously injure or even cause death if not managed properly.

“It is utterly vital that those in control make sure fencing is up to the
job of keeping children, and others who may not appreciate
the risks, away from them when running.

“The ride owner has a duty to ensure that all fencing provided is maintained
and kept in an efficient state of repair at all times.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email
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Deadline for Savile victims approaches

Victims of Jimmy Savile have been advised that all claims against the Savile estate must be brought by 3rd June, 2014.

What is the scheme?

A compensation scheme has been sanctioned by Mr Justice Sales. This follows an agreement between the BBC, the NHS, lawyers representing some of Savile’s alleged victims, and the executer of Savile’s estate.

Around 140 people have reported that they have suffered abuse at the hands of the former DJ and TV personality, who died in 2011 aged 84.

The scheme is set to provide over £3m in compensation. Payments have been capped at £60,000 per claim.

The scheme does not guarantee pay outs, but will help to provide a framework within which claims can be investigated.

The president of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, Peter Garsden, has assured that all claims will be thoroughly scrutinised.

He said:

“It’s not a case of you simply having to fill in a form and you get some money”.”For those who do come forward they are absolutely entitled to some compensation.
People who make legitimate claims for this money, one of the things
it could do is buy them some very good therapy.”

Taking action – how Hampson Hughes Solicitors can help you

If you have suffered from sexual abuse, and you would like expert advice, we can help.

Our experienced Criminal Injuries & Abuse Team will ensure that your case remains confidential, and that all guilty parties are held accountable.

For further information, please contact Greg Neill on 0151 242 1061
You can also contact us via email: [email protected]

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Liverpool music legend dies after tragic cycling accident

Local music legend, Alan Wills, died on Sunday night after a tragic cycling accident.

What happened?

The musician, known for creating one of Liverpool’s biggest record labels, Deltasonic, suffered serious head injuries while cycling along East Prescot Road, Page Moss, at around 8.30pm on Thursday.

Tributes from those wishing to pay their respects to Mr Wills have flooded social media. Mr Wills was the drummer with Liverpool band Shack and Top, before founding his visionary label.

Former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones said:

“Alan was the first person I met who I could talk to about my brother,
the first in my whole life to tell me I was any good and always
the person I called when the things got too much.

“Alan was a beacon for people who didn’t want to be swallowed up by their past.
His future was everything, that continues in all of the people he touched,
the musicians he gave a chance to and of course Sonny.”

Merseyside Police has appealed to anyone with information to contact them.

Inspector Mike McFall, said:

“We are investigating the full circumstances of this incident and
would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time
and might have seen something to call police.“The information you provide could be really important for our inquiries.”

The incident took place on East Prescot Road near the junction with Ashover Avenue. If you think you can provide any information, please call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 5747

Alternatively, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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The truth about post-traumatic stress disorder

It’s no secret that, for veterans, the transition back into civilian life can often be a difficult one.

After being discharged from service, many veterans can lose a sense of who they are. The role they had taken on during their time in service becomes null and void in civilian life, and many veterans begin to suffer from depression or turn to alcohol and drug misuse.

Without the support of welfare and clinical services to help them get back on track, many veterans become estranged from their family and friends, 6% are left homeless and some are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).

PTSD after combat

Though veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD are in the minority, it tends to be multiple exposures to combat rather than singular events that triggers the disorder. So those who have served in the infantry often make up the biggest proportion of the people who are diagnosed.

The Veterans’ Mental Health Charity, Combat Stress, said it had received 358 new Afghanistan veteran referrals in 2013, a 57% rise on the 228 in 2012.

For those veterans many things in their surroundings can trigger a distressing flahsback. Despite it being a memory, the body can respond like it is happening now – the veteran will be re-living the experiencing in their mind, which can be terrifying.

The charity has found that, in the past, veterans generally waited an average of 13 years after serving before they sought help for PTSD, but this had dropped significantly to an average of just 18 months for Afghanistan veterans in recent years.

The charity’s chief executive, Andrew Cameron, said:

“A small, yet significant number of veterans who serve in the armed forces each
year continue to relive the horrors they experienced on the front line.

“Day in, day out, they battle these hidden psychological wounds, often tearing
families apart in the process. We cannot allow the ex-servicemen and
women who suffer from the invisible injuries of war to go
unnoticed and untreated.

“This is an unnecessary drain on society and our veterans and families deserve better.”

If you have been affected by PTSE, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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Dock company fined after worker suffers serious injuries

A dock company has found itself in court after an employee sustained severe leg injuries when an operation to unload a cargo container went wrong.

What happened?

Agency dock worker, Andrew Gotts, suffered extensive damage to his lower right leg when he found himself trapped as a jammed container suddenly freed itself.

A court heard that Mr Gotts, who had been helping to unload containers from a ship, was standing on an access platform on the deck while his colleagues tried to free a jammed container.

Without warning, the container moved towards him, trapping him against the handrail of the platform and crushing his leg.

The 26 year old employee needed extensive reconstruction surgery and is yet to find out when or if he will be fit to work again.

What was the outcome?

A court found that, not only did the Essex-based company not have a satisfactory procedure in place for freeing jammed containers; its workers were also regularly at risk during the off-loading operations where they would walk across the top of containers to attach chains, with nothing to prevent falls.

Harwich Dock Company Ltd was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £14,761 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Toni Drury, and HSE inspector, said:

“This incident was entirely preventable. Mr Gotts was injured by a
jammed container when it suddenly freed and he sustained
horrific and life-changing injuries.

“The risk of containers jamming is well-known in the port industry.
There should have been a clear procedure known to the workers,
including keeping people clear of the jammed container and
having one individual designated to manage operations.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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Roofing firm fined after employee falls through church roof

58-year-old, Allen Smith, sustained extensive injuries after he fell through a hole in a church roof in South East London.

What happened?

The father of three was replacing the roof of Anerley Methodist Church, when he plunged five metres through the hole and suffered a collapsed lung, smashed pelvis and head injuries.

He has been standing on a lightweight staging board while grinding off bolts and sliding asbestos cement sheets down employees manning the forklift truck below.

The other workers noticed the incident after hearing a loud bang and seeing Mr Smith lying on the floor below, along with the staging board.

Mr Smith was hospitalised for two months and, as well as having an operation on his lungs, he will also require a hip replacement and will probably suffer long-term arthritis. It is unlikely that he’ll ever work again.

What was the outcome?

An investigation by the HSE found that Nationwide Roofing and Cladding Ltd hadn’t installed satisfactory safeguards to protect its workers from falling, nor had they mitigated the impact of a fall should one happen.

The Hampshire-based firm admitted a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £8,600 and ordered to pay £11,280 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Wendy Garnet, said:

“Mr Smith suffered life-threatening injuries in this fall and will have to live with
the disabling consequences. However, his fall could have been avoided
had Nationwide Roofing followed standard industry practice.“Work at height is a major cause of workplace deaths and serious injury. The firm
should have been fully aware of its duties and responsibilities to the labourers
before starting the roof replacement works. But Nationwide neglected
to put in place sufficient protective measures
to guard against falls.

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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Payout as employee’s arm is crushed in machine

A Yorkshire-based factory has landed itself in court after an employee’s arm was pulled into an unguarded conveyor belt.

What happened?

An employee of Createscape LTD, manufacturer of rubber playground surfaces, was cleaning a build-up of shredded rubber from one of the machines at the factory in Goole when his arm was pulled between the belt and a roller.

The court heard that the 27-year-old employee was inside a fenced enclosure where an interlock system was in place to protect employees from the moving machinery inside.

Despite the fact that cleaning inside the enclosure and around the conveyor belt was a regular activity at the factory, an investigation found the conveyor had not been connected to the interlock system, and could still be running if someone was inside the enclosure.

What was the outcome?

The company admitted that it had not properly assessed the risks to the staff carrying out the task, and admitted to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. Createscape LTD was ordered to pay a total of £3,500 with £761 in costs.

HSE Inspector Dr Nicholas Tosney said about the incident:

“Fixed guarding or connecting the conveyor to
the interlock system would have prevented
the incident and the worker’s injury,
from happening.

“The dangers of conveyor belts are well recognised in industry so
there is little excuse for companies of whatever size to
expose their employees to unnecessary dangers.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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NHS admits accidental vasectomy

A man from Liverpool has been made sterile by surgeon who was supposed to be performing a minor urological operation on him.

What happened?

The patient went into the Royal Liverpool hospital for a minor procedure but was instead given a vasectomy. Medics have since attempted to reverse the error, but it is yet to be known whether or not the operation was a success.

An incident of this type – where a procedure is performed on the wrong body part – is classed as a ‘Never Event’ by health officials. A Never Event is a serious incident that can be avoided by implementing established safety measures. Between April and September last year, there were 148 such incidents reported by NHS England.

Currently an internal investigation into the incident is under way, and the surgeon who performed the operation had been suspended from carrying out further procedures pending the outcome.

The medical director of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, Dr Peter Williams, said:

“We can confirm that a patient who was scheduled to have a different
minor urological procedure was wrongly given a vasectomy.

“We greatly regret the distress that this has caused him.
We have apologised unreservedly to the patient
and we are offering him our full support.”

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email

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Payout for patient who received a cancerous transplant.

A 62 year old patient has been awarded a six-figure compensation settlement by the NHS after receiving a cancerous kidney during a transplant.

What happened?

Robert Law from Merseyside was one of two people who received kidneys from woman who had lymphoma back in 2010. He was forced to undergo six cycles of chemotherapy after an autopsy revealed that the donor, who had died in another hospital, had intravascular B cell lymphoma.

Law said about his condition:

“It is like a wasting of the muscles. I don’t have any power.
I am on various tablets to take away those pains.

I am glad to be alive and I just get about in a slower fashion.
I tend to wear T-shirts or shirts that are already
buttoned up for me. Co-ordination is difficult.
I am immunosuppressed and I tend to get
any and every ailment going.”

What was the outcome?

NHS Blood and Transplant admitted negligence back in 2012. Its chief executive, Lynda Hamlyn, has apologised and claimed that the incident was down to an error by a nurse who had not yet completed her training.

The service acknowledged the lack of communication, and said the kidneys would have certainly been rejected by the surgeon had he had the full details of the donor

Law recently received a six-figure pay out, and the second patient, Gillian Smart from St. Helens, Merseyside, is still negotiating a settlement.

Law went on to say:

“I hope that lessons have been learned from my case and that this has helped
to make the system safer by ensuring all medical staff involved with
transplants have the training and support they need.

I am extremely grateful for the donated kidney and to the haematology
department for their treatment and care for the cancer,
but it is just a shame really NHSBT could
not say what went wrong.”

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email

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