Hospital Negligence

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Hospital Negligence

When we are in the hospital, we hope that we are in safe hands and in “the best place” to receive the treatment we need. Unfortunately, negligence by hospital staff can occur in a wide variety of circumstances. This can lead to a patient sustaining further illness or injury.

Examples of hospital negligence include:

  • Accidents taking place in a hospital. – For instance, a patient falling out of bed and sustaining injuries.
  • Incorrect diagnosis. – For example, an Accident & Emergency Department failing to diagnose a fracture, or if there is a delay in the hospital correctly diagnosing a patient’s illness.
  • Poor nursing care. – For example, failing to turn an immobile patient regularly which could lead to them developing pressure sores.
  • Drug errors. – For example, a patient being given medication to which they have a known allergy.
  • Errors during surgery. – For instance, when surgical equipment is left inside a patient’s body or when the implant in a joint replacement operation, such as a hip or knee, is inserted incorrectly.
  • Anaesthetic errors – For instance, a patient waking up and falling off the operating table.
If you have an NHS complaint, you may wish to pursue a compensation claim. We can advise you as to whether you have a claim quickly. Contact our specialist medical negligence department today on 01244 354688.

Hospital Negligence Error Case Studies

Follow up care error – £6,500 compensation
  • Our client injured his dominant left wrist after falling from a ladder. He attended hospital and was diagnosed with a fracture of the distal radius. He had surgery to repair this the next day.
  • The intended follow-up treatment was to consist of: 1. A review appointment one week after surgery. 2. An appointment two weeks after surgery to remove the sutures. 3. An appointment six weeks after surgery to remove the cast and the k-wires.
  • Unfortunately, after two weeks, our client had not received an appointment despite telephoning the hospital. Instead, he attended the A&E department. They replaced the cast but failed to refer him to the Orthopaedic clinic and so no other appointment was forthcoming.
  • Our client received an appointment 5 weeks after surgery, which he attended, but the doctor only removed the sutures and provided him with a new cast.  He eventually received the correct appointment 9 weeks after surgery, when he had the cast and the k-wires removed.
  • Because of the delay, our client experienced unnecessary pain and suffering as well as additional stiffness and weakness in his wrist.  The hospital admitted fault. They apologised for the follow-up care our client was provided with and he received £6,500 compensation.
  • Our Client suffered with severe eczema and had been using cream from abroad for many years. He attended the Emergency Eye Department of his local hospital as he had been suffering with blurred vision and discharge from his right eye for a few weeks. The hospital advised him to see his GP for a referral to an Opthalmologist. Our Client attended upon his GP 3 days later and a referral was made to the Opthalmology department of the hospital. Whilst waiting for this appointment date, our Client’s vision deteriorated and he again attended at the Emergency Eye Clinic of the hospital 4 days after seeing his GP. He was not examined again and was simply told to await the appointment with the Opthalmologist. He had still not received this appointment 4 weeks later, so he again attended at the Emergency Eye Clinic for a third time. He was again given the same advice to simply wait for the Opthalmology appointment. Our Client was eventually seen by the Opthalmologist 2 months after his first attendance at the Emergency Eye Clinic. Our Client was diagnosed with steroid induced glaucoma, as the cream he had been using for his eczema had contained steroids and our Client had not been aware of the risks of the same. By the time our Client was seen by the Opthalmologist, he had suffered a permanent loss of vision in his right eye. Our Client recovered the sum of £70,000 in compensation.
Needle stick injury – £2,500 compensation
  • Our client sustained a needle stick injury whilst he was an inpatient, causing him a great deal of distress and avoidable pain and suffering.
  • Our client presented to the hospital with abdominal pains. As he had contracted two hospital-acquired infections whilst an inpatient at the same hospital a few weeks earlier, he was admitted under their care and placed in a side room for observation. Later,when our client was getting out of bed, he stepped on a needle.
  • Since this incident, our client has had to undergo numerous tests including an x-ray and blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, the results of which he has only recently obtained.
  • Understandably, this incident has caused our client a great deal of distress as well as pain and suffering which could have been avoided by the defendant hospital.
  • Our client was successful in his clinical negligence claim against the hospital and was awarded £2,500 in damages.
Accident & emergency error – £1,000 compensation
  • Our client was experiencing pain in their foot after accidently standing on broken glass and attended their local A&E department. The doctor assessed our client and sent them for an x-ray of their foot. The x-ray revealed that a foreign body was visible in his foot.
  • Our client was then reviewed by an orthopaedic doctor who said that the glass would work its way out of their foot without the need for treatment. Our client subsequently found weight bearing on their foot very painful and could feel the glass beneath the skin.
  • They then re-attended A&E and another x-ray was taken. The doctor on this attendance said that the piece of glass was too big to work its way out without treatment. Our client’s foot was therefore cut open under local anaesthetic. The piece of glass was removed and the wound was then stitched up. Our client’s symptoms then resolved.
  • Our client recovered £1,000 for the pain and suffering that they experienced between the two attendances at A&E.

Do you have a potential medical negligence claim?

Please contact us for advice if you feel you have suffered any form of negligent medical/dental treatment. We have a specialist team of medical negligence solicitors who are always happy to help.

If you would like advice on whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim or assistance with drafting a letter of complaint, please contact us on the number below. Please note that there are legal time limits in place for starting a claim for compensation, and our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will be able to advise you specifically on the facts of your own case.

For free advice from our Medical Negligence solicitors, please call us direct on 01244 354688

Linda Schermer-Jones

Head of the Clinical Negligence Department, Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Liz Fry

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Kerry Goulden

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Emma Woodrow

Clinical Negligence Legal Adviser