£180,000 received for unnecessary death

Posted: 1st February 2017

DoctorUnnecessary deaths caused by medical negligence are always a tragedy but fair compensation can at least soften the blow. In one case, the family of a mother who died the day after she was sent home from a hospital accident and emergency department despite being critically ill received £180,000 from the NHS.

The mother was suffering from abdominal pains and vomiting and had been taken to the hospital. However, on the mistaken basis that she was suffering from gastroenteritis, she was sent home with instructions to drink plenty of fluids and to return if her pain worsened. She was found dead the following day having developed sepsis due to a large obstruction in her bowel.

In agreeing to settle her family’s case, the relevant NHS trust accepted that she should have been formally admitted to the hospital for observation and that, had that happened, she would probably have undergone emergency surgery. The compensation would be divided between members of her family, including her two young daughters, aged nine and 12, her 75-year-old mother, for whom she cared, and her partner. The High Court approved the settlement.