Tag: Medical Negligence

Missed lung cancer diagnosis

Missed lung cancer diagnosis

The Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth has failed to spot lung cancer in three patients because their staff failed to check patients’ X-rays properly, according to health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The patients suffered “significant harm” according to CQC, who also found during a visit to the hospital in July that the Queen Alexandra also had a backlog of 23,000 chest X-rays to work through. None of those images taken within a previous 12-month timeframe had been formally reviewed by a trained clinician or radiologist.

Of the three patients who were said to have suffered significant harm, two have since passed away. Junior doctors at the hospital complained that they were asked to carry out specialist radiology work despite not having the proper training to do so. Junior doctors were asked to review chest and abdomen X-rays – a “specialist skill” say the CQC, which needs to be undertaken by “properly trained clinical staff who know what they are looking for”.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has unreservedly apologised to the families affected and the CQC has launched a review of NHS radiology services across England. That will be of little comfort to those that have suffered and worry that they may find themselves in a similar position, though, especially when considering that Queen Alexandra isn’t an isolated case.

Medical negligence is a serious problem for families to cope with across the UK, especially in cancer cases like the above where, if spotted early enough, an appropriate plan of action may be put in place to try and help improve survival rates. Approximately 70% of lung cancer patients will survive for at least a year if the disease is diagnosed in its earliest stage, compared against 14% who are diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer (2).

The Belfast Health Trust – the biggest in Northern Ireland – has recently felt it’s had to defend itself as recent Government figures show it spent £34million on ongoing medical negligence complaints up to the end of the last financial year. For health trusts across Northern Ireland the overall bill has hit £94million, taking into account cases which are open, ongoing and remained live as of March 2017 (3).

Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trusts alone has paid out £24.2million for the 2016/2017 financial year (4). Medical negligence is a serious issue that may rear its head throughout any and every hospital within the UK, and though statistics such as the above suggest that more families are addressing it and searching for compensation they feel they rightly deserve, it will be of little comfort to those who have lost loved ones through serious failings from the health system and professionals they felt they could trust.

Compensation and bringing those responsible to account though could help families to get a sense of closure surrounding their loss, as well as providing them with the additional financial support to make any necessary arrangements and aid the recovery process. Most importantly, holding those who were supposed to help to account can go a long way to bringing negligence and failings to light, to ensure that nobody else has to go through the same experiences as you.

If you feel you’ve been subjected to instances of medical negligence that has affected your health in a detrimental manner, please contact the Hampson Hughes medical negligence team today to see if you are eligible to claim compensation. Our friendly team are always on hand to offer support and legal advice. Call us today on 0151 236 1222 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.


Doctor suspended after miss diagnosis resulted in boy’s death

A Merseyside doctor who failed to spot sepsis which killed a young boy in December 2013 has his medical license suspended.

What Happened?

The boy, who suffered with complex health needs, was originally diagnosed with a chest infection by his GP, when his condition deteriorated he was admitted to Whiston Hospital.

He was first examined by the department’s clinical director, who suspected the child may have sepsis and a lower respiratory tract infection.

Dr Thiagarajan Sundaravadivelu, who was a locum registrar, took over the case at midnight and confirmed the nine-year-old had a minor chest infection, provided him with anti-biotics and discharged him. It was then six hours later that the patient died.


The tribunal found Dr Sundaravadivelu did not adequately examine the boy, or take an adequate history from his mother before discharging him.

The locum registrar stopped working at Whiston Hospital shortly after the incident; he admitted that he had failed to do enough to diagnose the fatal condition.

The tribunal said his conduct would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners, but added it was an isolated incident. After his suspension, the doctor will face a review before going back to work.

A spokeswoman for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“The doctor was referred to the General Medical Council after the trust found failings in the care he provided to a patient.

“The GMC has decided to suspend him for four months. The doctor has not worked at the trust since soon after the incident.”

Medical Negligence Claims – Expert Advice

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

Source: Liverpool Echo

Grandmother dies after heart valve was inserted wrong

Image of a medical professional writing notes next to a stethoscope and laptop

An investigation is set to probe heart valve patient Sheila Hynes’ death following routine surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

What happened?

The Great-grandmother from Newcastle sustained catastrophic internal bleeding after a heart valve was put in upside down. This caused irreversible damage during surgery which was led by consultant surgeon Asif Raza Shah.

A second operation performed to try and get her heart working failed and the 71 year old subsequently died a week later in intensive care.


Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has acknowledged that the error caused Mrs Hynes’ death.

The five day inquest will be held at Newcastle’s Civic Centre.

Medical Negligence Claims – Expert Advice

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

Source: Aol.com

Girl Receives £2.5 Million Medical Negligence Compensation

A 12 year old girl, who was born healthy but suffered brain damage due to treatment delays as a new-born, has been awarded millions in medical negligence compensation.

Delay in treatment

The High Court heard how the young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became ill shortly after her birth at Warrington Hospital. Christopher Johnson QC told the court that she would not have suffered any lasting effects at all had she been diagnosed promptly. Instead, delays in her treatment left the young girl with ‘extensive needs’.

£2.5 million pay-out

Judge Mr Justice Goss awarded the 12 year old a total of £2.5 million in medical negligence compensation.

As well as the one off payment, the judge awarded her with an annual allowance of £260,000. Furthermore, the annual pay-outs will increase to £312,000 once the girl reaches her nineteenth birthday.

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the hospital, admitted liability and agreed to settle the girl’s claim, brought by her mother.

Margaret Bowron QC, representing the Trust, told the court an apology had been made to the family. She added that it was hoped the financial settlement would bring them “peace of mind”.

‘Small measure of comfort’

Mr Justice Goss said it would be “a small measure of comfort” as he addressed the girl’s parents. He went on to say:

“Nothing that the law can do can undo what has taken place, as you well know, and I am sure not a day has gone by when that hasn’t crossed your minds.

“Your daughter is clearly a remarkable child and that, in a sense, is a blessing for you – it is also plain to see that the love and affection you have for her is remarkable.”

Medical negligence compensation claims – expert advice

Medical negligence compensation may be available where the service provided by a medical professional falls below the accepted standards of practice.

Following an instance of medical negligence, you could benefit from rehabilitation support. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to help you to access a complete package of support, including:

•Income support
•Transport (e.g. wheelchair access vehicle)
•Home adaptations (e.g. access ramp, stair lift)

If you believe that you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation, speak to our expert team of personal injury solicitors today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: BBC News

Woman Wins £15,000 in Dental Negligence Compensation

A woman has recently been awarded £15,000 in dental negligence compensation after her Torquay dentist failed to adequately treat her tooth decay.

Dental negligence in Torquay

28 year old Hannah Dallywater was left with severe toothache, infections and three severely damaged teeth after her dentist, Dr Porter, failed to provide her with the correct treatment despite numerous check ups.

Mrs Dallywater was Dr Porter’s patient between 2006 and 2012, and the beauty therapist even underwent a root canal with the dentist.

Mrs Dallywater said:

“I always trusted Dr Porter. During the time I was her patient I had root canal treatment and some restorative work but never thought there was anything major to worry about. After all, you expect your dentist to spot problems and carry out the treatment you need. She was my long-term dentist so I always believed I was in safe hands and had healthy teeth.”

New dentist

In 2015 Mrs Dallywater moved away from Torquay to Hastings, Essex, and sought a new dentist with the move. However, problems soon started to become apparent. She went on to say:

“I had chipped a tooth and needed root canal treatment. Unfortunately when my new dentist was undertaking the procedure he left a dental instrument inside my tooth. I was shocked by what had happened and the potential consequences, so I contacted solicitors.”

Legal advice

After examining Mrs Dallywater’s dental records, she was advised that a case should be brought against Dr Porter rather than her new dentist. Her dental records showed that decay had been present in two of her teeth as far back as 2006, but that Dr Porter did nothing to fix them. The dentist also carried out poor root canal treatment on another of Mrs Dallywater’s teeth, causing damage.

With the above factors in mind, the 28 year old was advised that it was Dr Porter who was ultimately responsible for the problems that she was now facing.

Mrs Dallywater went on to say:

“It is unbelievable. I had regularly been suffering from toothache, infections and pain in my gums, but was always told everything was fine. But in reality Dr Porter had never been providing adequate treatment. Her inaction over many years made my problems worse and three teeth have been seriously damaged that should have been perfectly healthy.

“It’s horrible and I feel like putting my face down when I talk to people or smile because I am so self-conscious about the gap. I worry my teeth are weak, so feel I have to be careful when eating in case they break off. I also feel paranoid about my dental health so I am constantly brushing my teeth or using mouthwash.

“I work in the beauty industry where how you look is important, and people don’t expect you to have a gap when you smile.

“It is also upsetting when people imply that it must all be my fault in some way and that I can’t have looked after my teeth properly. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is all because Dr Porter failed to spot decay that was clearly visible for years. I never used to mind going to the dentist but I do now, and I will be spending a lot more time in a dentist’s chair thanks to Dr Porter.”

According to devonlive.com, the dentist did not admit admit liability. A total of £15,000 in dental negligence compensation was settled out of court.

Dental negligence compensation claims – expert advice

Dental negligence compensation may be available if you have experienced any unnecessary discomfort as a direct result of the actions taken by your dentist. This could include any situation in which your dentist has failed to treat your symptoms within a reasonable time-frame.

If you believe that your symptoms are linked to negligence, our expert team of dental negligence compensation solicitors could help you to secure maximum personal injury compensation. Call 0800 888 6888 or send an email to info@hh-law.co.uk for instant advice.

Source: devonlive.com

Merseyside’s Longest Running Birth Injury Cases

Image of the front entrance to Liverpool Women's Hospital with statue of mother and baby in the foreground

Following a freedom of information request under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, the Liverpool Echo has revealed the longest running court battles for Merseyside parents after their children were left injured or disabled during child birth.

Long fight for justice

Last year (2015-2016) a total of £2.3 million was spent on defence and claimant costs alone by Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. A further £9.4 million was paid out in damages.

The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts deals with incidents that have occurred since April 1995. Since then, there have been a total of five cases that weren’t resolved for over 9 years.

The longest fight for justice went on for more than 16 years, and involved parents fighting for compensation from Liverpool Women’s Hospital. The family eventually received over £7 million.

Another case, this time against Southport and Ormskirk hospital trust continued for more than ten years. The case was settled for a sum of just over £340,000.

Brain injury

Specific details of cases were not revealed but such high-value maternity cases frequently involve instances of children who have suffered brain injuries.

Oxygen deprivation is one of the most common reasons for some of the most severe birth injuries and if a child suffers brain injury at birth, they will most likely require complex life-long care as well as accommodation needs and special equipment.

In a number of cases, the type of brain damage and indeed the cause are not fully apparent until the child is much older, again adding to the length of the process.

There are often complexities surrounding birth injury cases, resulting in fights for justice that can last for years. Typically, the NHS Litigation Authority will make provisional payments ensuring that the child’s immediate needs are met.

Longest running cases

Here are the five longest-running maternity negligence cases in Merseyside:

NHS TrustTime to be resolvedTotal damagesDefence costsClaimant costs
Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust16.09 years£7,350,000£127,895£340,000
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust10.21 years£343,049£75,998£135,000
St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust9.24 years£2,750,000£110,040£192,250
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust13.99 years£4,886,052£97,513£241,600
Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust13.99 years£3,560,900£104,897£455,000

Birth Injury Claims – Expert Advice

Birth injury claims may involve any instance of medical negligence during pregnancy or childbirth. If you have been affected by a birth injury, you may be entitled to maximum personal injury compensation. Speak to our expert team of medical negligence solicitors today to discover how we could help you. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call our team of experts today on 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Liverpool Echo

Secret Report Identifies Failures at NHS Trust

Image of the front of North Manchester General hospital

A covert review into North Manchester General Hospital and the Royal Oldham Hospital has identified a number of serious failings. It has been reported that numerous clinical errors, a shortage of staff and a lack of compassion from workers has contributed to the deaths of numerous mothers and infants over a five year period.

Penine Acute Hospital Trust

The originally internal review, which came to light after a freedom of information request by the Manchester Evening News (MEN), was carried out by Deborah Carter. Miss Carter is the new maternity director at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which is responsible for the running of both hospitals in question.

Between 2010 and 2015, Pennine Acute Hospital NHS trust received more legal claims and paid out more in damages than any other. Almost half of the claims, which totalled more than £25 million, related clinical errors involving mothers and babies.

The MEN also reported that initially the trust attempted to conceal the report, at one point claiming it did not even exist.

Series of avoidable deaths and long-term injuries

The document outlines a series of avoidable deaths and long-term injuries, caused by failures over a lengthy period, including that of a woman who died of a catastrophic haemorrhage after staff mistook her symptoms for mental illness.

According to the report, long-term clinical errors led to “high levels of harm for babies in particular” and constant repeated warnings over time had not resulted in improvements.

Other incidents detailed in the report include a premature baby that was left to die alone in a sluice room – where used disposables such as incontinence pads and bed pans are dealt with, and reusable products are cleaned and disinfected – and a baby who lost its life after staff failed to recognise its mother’s rare blood type.

Poor decision making

The review states that “clear evidence of poor decision-making which has resulted in significant harm to women” as well as “real issues” on maternity wards resulting in “high levels of harm for babies in particular, which has significant life-long impact”.

According to the document a number of deaths were related a shortage in hospital staff, as well as the lack of compassion and bad attitudes amongst those who work at the trust. “Worrying repetitive themes” across maternity units, such as poor documentation, failures to monitor basic vital signs, critical information left off patient records and lab results left unchecked, were also prominent in the report.

Recurrent safety breaches, a “rigid mind-set” among staff who tended to view patients’ conditions as “uncomplicated” and little performance monitoring of the high numbers of agency staff on the trust’s books were also identified.


This week the trust confirmed that steps – such as the recruitment of more staff – are being taken to improve patient care and avoid clinical errors.

Medical director at Pennine, Professor Matthew Makin, said:

“The priority is for all of the trust’s services to meet the high standards that patients expect and deserve. We are steadily making the necessary improvements so that patients can receive reliable, high quality care across all of our services.

“In addition to the appointment of a new head of midwifery, 31 new midwives started … across our two maternity units at north Manchester and Oldham last month.

“In addition to 58 new midwives joining us since April, the new management team is being supported by Central Manchester NHS foundation trust, who are providing supplementary clinical leadership support in order to stabilise and strengthen services on the north Manchester site.

“We have fully reviewed our risk and governance arrangements including learning from incidents and complaints, and are making progress in improving the way we listen and involve our staff to address the longstanding problems and challenges facing our teams.”

Medical negligence claims – expert advice

Medical negligence compensation may be available where the service provided by a medical professional falls below the accepted standards of practice. If you believe that you have been affected by medical negligence, speak to our expert team of personal injury solicitors today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: BBC News; The Guardian

Man Awarded £5million for Medical Negligence

Image of blue and white NHS sign on the side of a pale building with a blue sky in the background

A Portsmouth man whose memory was destroyed by an illness linked to the herpes virus has been awarded £5million compensation by a NHS trust.

The man, an aspiring model whose identity cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, contracted herpes simplex encephalitis a number of years ago. The disease has left him with almost no spontaneous recall of recent events and he only remembers parts of his past life.

The man, whose behavioural problems mean that he doesn’t cooperate with those trying to assist him and is difficult to handle at times, was treated in 2008 at Royal Hampshire Hospital. His lawyers aver that the hospital’s treatment of him was negligent and Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust admitted liability.

This week, a high court judge approved a £2.5million settlement after describing the impact of the virus on the man as ‘quite disastrous’. An index-linked tax-free payment is also to be paid annually in order to cover the cost of the man’s life long care, with the payments set to increase if early onset dementia develops.

Medical negligence claims – expert advice

Medical negligence compensation may be available where the service provided by a medical professional falls below the accepted standards of practice. If you believe that you have been affected by medical negligence, speak to our expert team of personal injury solicitors today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: The News – Portsmouth

NHS Trust Admit Liability Following Life Changing Birth Injury

Image of a medical professional writing notes next to a stethoscope and laptop

A mother who suffered a life changing injury during the birth of her son is due compensation after University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust admitted liability for the injury.

Grade Four Perennial Tear

34 year old Debbie Armstrong suffered a grade four perennial tear whilst giving birth to Kaiden, now 6, at the University hospital in 2010.

According to Miss Armstrong, medical staff at the hospital failed to correctly diagnose the position of the baby, which resulted in Kaiden being delivered in a problematic position.

The injuries that Miss Armstrong sustained during the birth of her son were so severe that she has been left wearing a permanent colostomy bag.

Discussing her experience, which has left her needing regular assistance and support, Miss Armstrong said:

“It has been extremely difficult to come to terms with both the physical and mental impact my injuries and the subsequent surgeries I’ve undergone have had on me.

“I can only hope that what has happened to me won’t happen to anyone else in the future and I believe that by taking legal action and speaking out about my experiences in the last six years the Trust, and others around the country, will take every possible step to protect mothers from the problems I have suffered.”


It was claimed that hospital staff ‘failed correctly to diagnose the position of the baby’s head and/or negligently misapplied the forceps’ during Kaiden’s delivery. As a result of this, the foetal head was delivered in an awkward and difficult position, which in turn lead to Miss Armstrong’s severe injuries.

Miss Armstrong sought legal action and the NHS Trust has since admitted liability for her injuries.

Chief medical officer and deputy chief executive officer at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, Professor Meghana Pandit said:

“We would like to apologise unreservedly to Ms Armstrong for the pain and distress that she has suffered since her son’s birth at University Hospital in 2010.

“We are a specialist maternity centre , and are saddened that while Ms Armstrong’s baby son was delivered safely, she suffered a serious perineal tear during his birth.

“I would like to apologise on behalf of the trust for the distress this has caused, and hope that whatever financial settlement is agreed will go some way to help both her and her family in the future.”

Since the incident, Miss Armstrong’s relationship with Kaiden’s father has broken down and she has had to move back in with her parent’s as she requires regular support and assistance. Miss Armstrong has also found going back to work difficult as she has to be near a toilet at all times due to her injury.

Birth Injury Claims – Expert Advice

Birth injury claims may involve any instance of medical negligence during pregnancy or childbirth. If you have been affected by a birth injury, you may be entitled to maximum personal injury compensation.

Speak to our expert team of medical negligence solicitors today to discover how we could help you. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation, call us on 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Coventry Telegraph; BBC News

Woman Convicted of Gross Negligence Manslaughter

Black and white image of slit lamp used by optometrists

In a landmark case, an optometrist has been handed a two year suspended prison sentence following the death of a young boy, whose symptoms of a life-threatening brain condition were not picked up during a routine eye test.


When eight year old Vincent Barker visited a branch of Boots in Ipswich for an eye test, he was suffering with swollen optic discs. Honey Rose, the optometrist carrying out the test, failed to spot Vincent’s swollen optic discs which is a symptom of hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain. The eight year old died around five months after the test in July 2012.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Ms Rose had failed to examine the backs of Vincent’s eyes with an ophthalmoscope during the test, and that she had also failed to examine retinal photos of Vincent that were taken by a colleague.


Sentencing the 35 year old, Judge Jeremy Stuart-Smith said that although the breach of duty was a ‘single lapse’, the seriousness of the incident meant that it was a criminal act. The court also heard that after discovering that Vincent had died, Ms Rose attempted to ‘cover up’ her failings by claiming that Vincent had showed signs of photophobia. In an account that was dismissed as false by Judge Stuart-Smith, Ms Rose said that Vincent had not been cooperating with her at the time of the test.

Ms Rose, of East Ham in east London, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter at Ipswich crown court. She was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and given a 24-month supervision order.

The ruling is thought to be the first conviction of an optometrist for gross negligence manslaughter. Judge Stuart-Smith told Ms Rose:

“You simply departed from your normal practice in a way that was completely untypical for you, a one-off, for no good reason.”

He went on to say that there was “nothing in [Vincent’s] general presentation that should have rung particular alarm bells for you” and that Ms Rose was “generally competent”.

He added that an immediate custodial sentence was not essential to highlight ‘the importance of optometrists properly discharging their duty to patients’ due to the fact the case had been so highly publicised.

‘Our loss should have been prevented’

Praising Vincent’s family for showing ‘dignity and restraint’ throughout the trial, Judge Stuart-Smith noted that they called for leniency when sentencing. A written statement from Vincent’s mother Joanne Barker said:

“The knowledge our loss should have been prevented and Vinnie should have been saved is intolerable to live with.”

Telling the court how Ms Rose had worked ‘extremely hard’ to qualify in India before moving to the UK, Ian Stern QC, mitigating, said:

“The loss of that vocation, which undoubtedly will happen when she comes before a fitness-to-practise panel, will affect her self-respect as someone who worked so hard to obtain those qualifications.”

He added that the case had “sent shockwaves round the optometric practice”.

Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, said that a letter from the Association of Optometrists expressed that there had been an increase in practitioners’ concerns regarding the way they carry out their jobs.

Fatal Injury Compensation

Fatal injury compensation may be available in cases where the death of a loved one is linked to medical negligence. If you believe that the actions of a medical professional contributed to your loved one’s death, we can help. Contact our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors today for expert advice and guidance throughout your fatal injury compensation claim.

Depending on your circumstances, we may also be able to provide you with expert legal representation at inquests – we will explain and discuss these options with you in full. Discover today how we could help you. Remember, we offer you a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: The Guardian