Archive for December, 2015

Six-Figure Fine for Avoidable Deaths in Stafford Hospitals

Posted on: December 19th, 2015 by Editor

 

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has been issued a fine of £500,000 for medical negligence that resulted in four avoidable deaths of four of their patients.

An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into four deaths that occurred at Stafford Hospital which were believed to be caused by medical negligence at the facility. The investigation concluded that three of the deaths were due to hospital faults, and a fourth was because the patient was administered a medication that she was allergic to, after which charges were brought against the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

 

In November of this year, the NHS Trust at fault plead guilty to “very significant failings” at the Stafford Magistrates’ Court, after which the case was sent for sentencing the Stafford Crown Court. During the hearing, evidence was given that three of the charges pertained to failures by the hospital to carry out adequate risk assessments and control measures to protect patients against falls.

 

Mr Justice Hadden-Cave, at the Stafford Crown Court – who had previously fined the NHS Trust £200,000 for previous failings relation to a patient’s death in 2007 – heard testimonies from relatives of the four victims. Huge Haddon-Cave said that the lack of a robust management system in the NHS Trust was largely to blame for the deaths.

The judge commented after sentencing that: “I hope today brings some closure and finally draws a line under the past, and that Stafford and Cannock Hospitals can open a new and bright chapter and become the hospitals that their dedicated staff and local communities can once again be proud of.”

However, the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has stopped operating. As such, the £500,000 fine issued by Mr Justice Hadden-Cave will be paid by the Secretary of State for Health, who will also be liable for payment of the £35,517 that it cost to bring the Trust to court.

 

HSE Inspector Wayne Owen issued a statement on behalf of the families of the victims, who acknowledged the NHS’s apology.

 

Woman with Fear of Medical Instruments Recovers Compensation for a Surgical Misunderstanding

Posted on: December 8th, 2015 by Editor

A woman with a phobia of medical instruments, who had metal clips inserted during a thyroidectomy, has recovered compensation for a surgical misunderstanding.

For all of her life,sixty-six year old Sylvia Ramsay has suffered from a phobia of medical instruments. In 2010, she underwent a thyroidectomy only after assurances that consultant surgeon Dr Akineye Ojo would use dissolvable stitches during the procedure rather than the metal clips that are usually inserted.

After the surgery, as far as Sylvia was aware, Dr Ojo had consented to her wishes. However, one year later – after an x-ray had been taken of Sylvia´s throat to investigate a complaint of breathing difficulties – she was alarmed to discover that the consultant surgeon had ignored her fears and left twenty-five of the metal clips inside her.

The discovery of the metal clips inside her had a devastating psychological effect. Such was the degree of Sylvia´s inability to cope that her GP almost sectioned her under the Mental Health Act. Sylvia had months of therapy to help her come to terms with the fact that she had medical instruments inside of her and to prepare for further surgery to have the metal clips removed in 2013.

After the removal of the clips, Sylvia complained that Dr Ojo had been negligent in her treatment. The consultant surgeon denied negligence and argued that the insertion of the metal clips was due to a misunderstanding. Sylvia subsequently sought legal advice and subsequently claimed compensation for a surgical misunderstanding.

Sylvia´s solicitors pursued the claim for compensation for a surgical misunderstanding and eventually Dr Ojo eventually agreed to an undisclosed out-of-court settlement of the claim without an admission of liability. Although undisclosed, the settlement is believed to be in five figures.

Speaking about the settlement of compensation for a surgical misunderstanding, Sylvia told a reporter from her local newspaper: “I know this is not a rational reaction but it is not something I can control. It´s like putting an arachnophobe into a room full of spiders and telling them not to be so silly.”


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