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Clinical Negligence Claims Blog

NHS Baby Care in Distress, again

Guy Pomphrey
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The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, an organisation we should all take note of, recently reported the shocking statistic that three quarters of babies who die or are brain damaged during birth could have been saved.  A link to read...

Childbirth - The Right to Choose

Guy Pomphrey
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Childbirth - The Right to Choose. In January 2017 a Coroner in Tunbridge Wells heavily criticised a local Hospital for pressurising Mrs Frances Cappuccini to try for a natural delivery rather than a planned elective caesarean section. This decision...

Compensation for knowledge of delayed diagnosis

Susan Bartfield
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A recent decision of the High Court highlights the different ways in which a delay in diagnosis can affect a cancer patient. Mr M had a biopsy taken from a wound on the sole of his foot in November 2011.  A histopathologist (a doctor specialising in...

Independence of Experts

Charles Gillott
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A recent Court of Appeal decision (February 2017) emphasised the importance of expert witnesses in medical negligence cases being truly independent. In the case of EXP v Barker [2017] EWCA Civ63 , the court heard an appeal by a consultant neuroradiologist...

A Patient's Right to Choose Their Treatment - The Latest Legal Principles

Charles Gillott
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Guy Pomphrey recently blogged about a Women’s Right to Choose in childbirth . This blog looks at the legal principles behind this choice.   In the recent case of Webster v Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust , February 2017, the Court of...

Fixed Recoverable Legal Costs in Medical Negligence

Guy Pomphrey
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Over the past few years a hot debate has been raging between the Government, the Department of Health and Medical Negligence Lawyers about the cost of pursuing medical negligence claims.  The Department of Health, effectively the NHS, says that the...

No Fault Compensation for Birth Injury Claims Proposed

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In February 2016 a committee chaired by Baroness Cumberlege published a report entitled “Better Births”. The report suggests ways to improve outcomes in maternity services in England. An Annexe appearing at the very end of this report includes...

NHS Never Events a disgrace says Patients Association

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In the past four years more than 1000 NHS patients in England have suffered medical mistakes so serious they should never happen, according to the Patients Association. “Never-events” include different surgical procedures from those which were...

Stillbirth Scandal

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Most stillbirths could be avoided if all hospitals followed the lead of top hospitals. Mothers planning to give birth in London’s top teaching hospitals are usually the lucky ones.  For example, the routine use of special scans to check that...

Bungled prescriptions: why you should check what you are taking

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Examples of why everyone should check the medication they are prescribed. I have a 3 year old client who had a medical condition that requires regular medication.  She developed sore eyes, swollen hands and feet, a fever and a relentless thirst. ...

A Patients Right to Know

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Until 2015 there was no legal duty for the medical profession to tell patients or their next of kin about errors or incidents that may have caused harm.  Before then patients were not routinely told when something had gone wrong and many mishaps went...

Medical Negligence Why Pursue a Claim?

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We are told that a  “compensation culture”  exists in this country yet less than 1% of patients suffering medical accidents pursue a claim for compensation.  Out of nearly 1 million medical accidents in NHS hospitals only 1 in 400...

New Cancer Research Published

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Scientists have published research which could mean new ways of fighting cancer are developed over the next few years to help treat patients, even those whose cancer has spread to different areas of the body. Immunotherapy  One of the challenges in...

One in ten hospitals fail basic safety standards

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“The NHS needs to take safety more seriously.  It is frustrating that in 2016 we do not have a clearer idea of how many die or are harmed in hospital”. So said Sir Ian Kennedy, the Government Health Watchdog.  He is concerned that the...

Landmark NHS Gross Negligence Manslaughter Case comes before the Courts

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On 13 January Dr Errol Cornish, an anaesthetist, went on trial in London accused of gross negligence manslaughter stemming from the death of Mrs Frances Cappuccini in October 2012.  Another doctor reportedly implicated, Nadeem Azeez, also an...

Cervical Cancer

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During my career as a clinical negligence solicitor I have been lucky enough to work with some extraordinary former patients and to successfully pursue claims for them stemming from a delay in the diagnosis of cancer.  I am proud to have developed a...

Time limit for Commencing Court Proceedings

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A recent decision by a High Court Judge in the case of  Rayner v Wolferstans & Medway Hospitals NHS Trust  reminds us of two important points concerning the law on limitation – the period within which court proceedings must be commenced...

Maternal Mortality Falls

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Earlier this month, the BBC covered a United Nations report that worldwide maternal mortality fell by almost 50% in the past 25 years.  Despite the World Health Organisation describing this as “huge progress” the results do sadly report that...

THE NEGLECTED TRAGEDY

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One in 200 babies is born dead and the UK ranks second last in 35 rich countries in preventing such deaths.  The failure to track babies’ growth in the womb causes hundreds of lost lives each year.  Mistakes in monitoring babies’ heart...

Shoulder Dystocia

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Continuing with my review of different types of birth injuries, this blog looks at shoulder dystocia. What is Shoulder Dystocia? Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders become stuck on their mother’s pubic bone during labour, after...

Type II Diabetes Diagnosis Delay

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This month Public Health England have published a report entitled ‘Sugar Reduction: The Evidence for Action.’ Unsurprisingly the report found that as a nation we are consuming too much sugar. The health risks of having a diet heavy in sugar are...

Family receive pay out following clinical negligence case

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The family of a father-of-five – who died following spinal surgery – has received a significant compensation package. Dean Bircham had died a week after medics at the Rivers Hospital, Hertfordshire had damaged a vein, leading to significant...

Patient groups raise concerns about recent report

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Patients’ lives are being put at risk because of significant differences in the quality of NHS services around the country. An official report, jointly prepared by NHS England and Public Health England, assessed the performance levels of more than 200...

NHS not learning from errors?

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Today and every day, patients admitted to hospitals suffer through botched surgery, medication errors and falls.  This is medical negligence. I read a client’s hospital notes last week and I quote from a letter written by the hospital consultant...

Meningitis

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The press recently reported on the tragic case of a promising young teenager who died as a result of a new particularly deadly strain of meningitis.   Edward Saunders, 18 years old, died within 12 hours of first complaining of a headache and within...

A Guide To Coroners Inquests

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An inquest is a legal procedure presided over by a coroner. It takes the form of a fact-finding investigation with the purpose of determining the circumstances in which someone has come to their death. Inquests are not the appropriate forum for apportioning...

Duty of care in Accident and Emergency

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What duties are owed to patients by reception staff in Accident and Emergency Departments? This question was recently considered by the court in the case of  Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust . Mr D had been attacked and struck on the...

Using the Human Rights Act to Challenge Legislation

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The recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of  Coventry v Lawrence  has received a lot of attention from lawyers because of its significance for the recoverability of legal costs from unsuccessful defendants to litigation.  Perhaps...

Strokes in working-aged adults on the increase

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A recent BBC news article has reported that strokes in working age adults are on the increase ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32690040 ).  Information from a Stroke Association study found that there has been a 32% increase in hospital admissions for...

Why is my daughter Brain Damaged?

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Mrs A came to see me after she was told by an occupational therapist that her 7 month old daughter had cerebral palsy. No doctors had told her what was wrong with her daughter despite Mrs A  raising concerns with her GP and many visits to accident and...

Time Limits on Claiming Compensation for Clinical Negligence

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As a general rule, in clinical negligence claims, a claimant has 3 years to start a civil claim for compensation arising from negligent medical treatment.  This blog explains the detail behind this rule and touches upon the very difficult position of...

Delays in ambulance attendance

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On 15 June this year a 21 year old pregnant woman named Malorie Bantala was attacked by two men in the street near her home in Peckham.  News reports of the incident have detailed how a neighbour dialled 999 at 8.16pm seeking emergency assistance...

Overcrowding in A&E leading to catastrophic consequences

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Accident and Emergency departments across the country now routinely have to turn patients away at the door due to overcrowding, often with tragic consequences. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) reported in January that up to 500 patients may...

Misdiagnosis of Cancer?

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Sadly, we see a number of cases in which opportunities to diagnose a cancer have been missed with the result that the diagnosis is not made or is delayed, often with serious consequences for the patient. What about the situation in which a diagnosis of...

Man charged with attempted murder over machete attack in Leeds

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A 24-year-old man recently appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court after seriously injuring another man during a machete attack in Leeds. Nathan Seaward was charged with attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon and false imprisonment of a...

Recent news on unsafe prescriptions for treatment of Asthma

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It was widely reported within the past few days that there has been some major errors in the treatment of asthmatic conditions throughout the uk: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33132613 ...

CQC report highlights failures in mental health crisis care

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With improving mental health care high on the government’s agenda, new research recently published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) puts mental health under public scrutiny again. The concerning review, which focuses on the experience of patients...

Does Britain need a seven day National Health Service?

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After an unpredictable election, the British people woke on 8 May 2015 to the news that the Conservative party were set to secure a majority government. One month on and with David Cameron firmly back inside no.10, how might the Tory win impact upon the...

Wrongful Birth Claims New Blood Test for Downs syndrome screening

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The BBC recently reported a new blood test to screen for Down’s syndrome. The new test, which looks at fragments of foetal DNA in the mother’s blood, could be used to replace controversial amniocentesis testing, which is currently used by...

Nurse at Greater Manchester Hospital convicted of Murder

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Mr Victorino Chau, a nurse at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, was convicted of two counts of murder at Manchester Crown Court last week following a 3 month trial. He has been jailed for life. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32782153 Mr Chau...

Cerebral Palsy Claim in the news in the North

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BBC News reported yesterday that a young boy has received a £10 million compensation package as a result of medical errors at the Harrogate Hospital in 2008 resulting in dyskinetic cerebral palsy. (...

NHS Trust charged with Corporate Manslaughter

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The Crown Prosecution Service announced in April 2015 that for the first time they are charging an NHS Trust for corporate manslaughter, a criminal offence, following the  tragic death of a young mother at the Pembury Hospital in October 2012 . ...

Watchdog criticises the number of incidents wrongly dismissed by police

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Fresh doubts have been raised about the reliability of crime figures, after it emerged offences including rape and robbery were wrongly written off as “no crimes” by West Yorkshire Police. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)...

Giving a voice to elderly claimants

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The concerns of the elderly are increasingly underestimated and undervalued.  Sadly this applies in personal injury and clinical negligence claims as in other areas of life.  The main areas of concern are: (1)    Damages for pain...

Rise in number of clinical negligence claims

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Lester Morrill has warned of the dangers of the increasing number of inexperienced solicitors pursuing criminal negligence claims. More and more firms, who have previously dealt with straightforward personal injury cases, are moving into the specialist...