Category: Needlesticks

Needlestick Victim Refused Treatment Three Times

A Gosford cleaner was turned away from three separate care centres after suffering a needlestick injury in a public toilet.

David Crisp, 40, was performing cleaning duties in public toilets on Trinity High Street in Fareham when he picked up a piece of tissue paper. Concealed within was a dirty needle, and Mr Crisp unwittingly pricked himself.

Treatment Saga

Immediately seeking the advice of his employer, he was advised to go to Accident & Emergency. But when he arrived at A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, he was told that he would have to see his GP – ostensibly because it was 2PM and so within General Practice opening hours. However, when his wife rang Brune Medical Centre, Rowner Road, Gosport, she was told that David should go to A & E as that was the protocol for needlestick injuries.

Mr Crisp then tried the Guildhall walk-in Centre in Portsmouth, where staff gave advice but said that they could not treat him.

Attempting to get a clear picture of the suggested procedure, Mr Crisp rang NHS 111 at 7PM, only to be told that the best place to go was A&E.

Eventually, he was seen and treated. He has been given vaccinations and will receive blood tests and boosters over the next year whilst awaiting initial results. But understandably, the delay has caused a great deal of distress.

Mr Crisp said:

‘The whole day was shambolic and it left me feeling very emotional and angry – even several days later. I was concerned about HIV and hepatitis C, worried I could have either of these and that I was delayed treatment. I was turned away from A&E as it was 2pm and was told to see my GP.’

‘After all that I couldn’t believe I was being sent back to the place where it all began,’ said Mr Crisp.
‘What made me angry was I needed treatment quickly but was left waiting several hours instead.’

Even after the event, official NHS protocol for needlestick injuries is not entirely clear. Each care centre believed they were doing the correct thing by redirecting Mr. Crisp, as emphasised by their respective statements after the incident.

A Queen Alexandra Hospital spokesman said:

‘Our needlestick policy is that within working hours patients should visit their employer’s occupational health service or their GP, and out-of-hours should go to the emergency department for a risk assessment and appropriate follow-up.’

Meanwhile a representative of the Guildhall Walk-in Centre stated:

‘The contract we operate under does not permit the team working there to carry out blood tests on patients who are not registered with the centre, unless the GPs have reason to believe the patient has cancer.

‘As a result of this contractual obligation, we refer patients that have been pricked by a potentially dirty needle on to another NHS service for tests.’

Whilst Dr Stuart Morgan, senior partner at the Brune Medical Centre, defended the actions of the practice:

‘It was our firm understanding patients with needlestick injuries should be seen in A&E. We have apologised to the patient for any impression given that we were not willing to see him, and we have been in contact with several NHS services to ensure he has received appropriate treatment.

‘We are entirely satisfied our receptionist did everything she felt appropriate in the circumstances.’

A Clinical Commissioning Group is now looking to streamline and homogenise the policies of all practices to ensure that there is no repeat of this type of incident.

If you have been affected by a needlestick injury, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for a free consultation. If, like Mr. Crisp, you feel you have been let down by a medical service, then our clinical negligence team can help. Call us on 0800 888 6888 or email [email protected]

Source: Portsmouth News

NHS fined after Nurse develops OCD following needle incident

A trainee nurse from east London has been awarded compensation after she developed a severe form of obsessive compulsive disorder, after being jabbed with a dirty needle whilst working at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London.

What happened?

The 45-year-old was working as a nursing assistant at the London hospital, when she was accidentally pricked in the finger by a dirty needle sticking out of an over-filled bin in an operating theatre.

She was cleared of hepatitis and HIV infection, but developed a severe case of OCD after the incident, and was unable to return to work.

After becoming obsessed with cleanliness, she felt unable to leave her home, and started preventing her children from going out, except to go to school, scrubbing their shoes with bleach when they returned.

Her OCD also lead to the breakdown of her marriage after her condition left her unable to have any physical intimacy with her husband.

What was the outcome?

At Central London County Court, Whipps Cross NHS admitted primary liability and its severe consequences for the nurse, but disputed the amount of compensation she deserved.

However, Judge Edward Bailey held that the nurse ought to be compensated for her incapability to work for five years. She was awarded damages for five years of pain, suffering and loss of earning totaling a large sum of


Judge Bailey said:

“I am quite satisfied that her continued absence from work
after her accident was as a result of the injury she
received and her – albeit excessive –
psychological reaction to it.”

“The average person, armed with normal fortitude, would have
been able to get on with his or her life, no doubt
making a firm mental note to be more careful
of the sharps bin.

“Unfortunately, Mrs Tobbal was unable to get on in this way.
She suffered from what can only be described
as an eggshell psychology.”

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 [email protected]

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