Hospital blunder admitted

Posted: 18th June 2014

Hospital signA mother-of-two who was left with catastrophic brain damage after hospital medics delayed referring her for vital tests has been guaranteed a substantial compensation award after the NHS accepted 90 per cent liability for her injuries.

The middle-aged woman collapsed at home with a devastating brain stem stroke five days after she attended her local hospital’s accident and emergency department, complaining of vertigo, nausea and drooping of the mouth.

Her lawyers claimed that medics were negligent in failing to arrange her immediate admission and a CT scan to pinpoint the source of her symptoms. Following her urgent re-admission to hospital, tests revealed a brain tumour. The woman was left dependent on a wheelchair, with impaired vision and intellect. She will never work again and will always need help with many aspects of her daily life.

Following negotiations, the NHS Trust which managed the hospital admitted breach of duty and agreed that the woman should be compensated on the basis of 90 per cent liability. It paves the way for a multi-million-pound claim, although the final amount of her damages has yet to be assessed.

The Trust’s lawyers issued an apology in open court and described the events as ‘very regrettable’. The Court approved the ‘very sensible’ liability compromise and sanctioned a £100,000 interim payment to cover the costs of the woman’s care, pending a final calculation of her award.

After the hearing, the woman’s husband commented, "The last five years have been incredibly difficult…nothing can turn back the clock, but we just hope improvements have been made by the trust to prevent any other family from going through a similar ordeal."

The woman’s solicitor said, "This is a truly tragic case. My client’s life has been completely turned upside down. She now needs help with all aspects of her daily care, such as washing and dressing, and is reliant on a wheelchair to get around the house.

"This settlement means that we can now work with the trust to agree a fair settlement for my client that will provide appropriate single-storey accommodation, help from specialist carers and ongoing rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy, to ensure that she has the best quality of life possible and with as much independence as possible."