An NHS Trust in the North-West of England, are reported to have paid out more than £4million as a result of compensation claims in the last year.
Figures reported by the St Helens Reporter show that the NHS Trust responsible for running St Helens Hospital and Whiston Hospital paid out £4.1million during the last yearly reporting period.
This money was paid out to patients who have suffered due to the negligence of medical staff working for the Trust. The figure also includes legal fees paid to the patients’ representatives.
The amount of compensation paid by this particular NHS Trust has risen by over a million pounds from the previous years figures.
Other nearby NHS Trusts have seen even larger compensation bills over the last yearly period. The Trust responsible for Tameside Hospital, which is in the area east of Manchester, paid out over £13million in the same time frame.
Example claims made against Tameside Hospital are reported to include a claim made after a swab was left inside a patients’ body after an operation.
The announcement of these figures comes at the same time as The Sun newspaper are reporting that £1.3million compensation has been paid out to male NHS patients who have had testicles wrongly removed by surgeons. In most cases the surgery was later found to be unnecessary, but in some cases the wrong testicle was removed.
Compensation totalling £35,000 has been awarded after mistakes were made during a gastric band procedure.
Rachel Benefer underwent surgery at Hull and East Riding Classic Hospital back in 2007. She had struggled to lose weight due to health problems. After a long time waiting, she was reffered for gastric band surgery.
The procedure was performed via keyhole surgery and appeared to go well. However, after she was discharged, it quickly became apparent that something had gone wrong.
She was in intense pain and was taken to intensive care where she spent two weeks, and was later induced into a coma. In total, she was in hospital for five weeks and had to undergo further operations.
She suffered numerous health complications, including acute peritonitis. The Grimsby Telegraph reports that the problems occurred due to the surgeon failing to close up one of the small incisions used for the entry of the surgical equipment.
The paper also reports that she has now received £35,000 compensation for the surgical error she suffered.
Mrs Benefer is quoted as warning people of the risks and complications possible from gastric bypass surgery.
A man has received compensation after a routine knee operation left him with a broken leg.
Stewart Clegg underwent the procedure at Kendal NHS Treatment Centre (based at Westmorland General Hospital) in August 2010. The long-time taxi driver had started to suffer knee pains two years earlier, and had been put on the waiting list for a knee replacement operation.
However, soon after he had been discharged following the procedure, a problem occurred. He was hobbling on his crutches when he felt an intense pain in his leg. He was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where it was discovered that the femur bone in his thigh had “snapped”.
Mr Clegg tells the Lancaster Guardian that a surgeon at Royal Lancaster Infirmary told him the bone was damaged during the knee op and was disgusted at how badly the operation had been done.
The paper claims that Mr Clegg complained to NHS North Lancashire about his treatment but his concerns were dismissed. However, after taking legal action, he has received an apology for the poor standard of treatment he received. He has also reportedly received a five-figure compensation settlement.
The negligence in his knee operation meant he had to undergo a further two surgical procedures to fix the problems. He also had to spend an extended period of time on crutches, and lost earnings as a result.
Compensation of £9,000 has been awarded after a dentist removed a patient’s healthy tooth by mistake.
James Lacey visited his dentist after suffering with tooth pain. The dentist identified that three teeth needed removing under sedation. He subsequently referred Mr Lacey to the Manchester Dental Hospital, where he could undergo the procedure.
Mr Lacey underwent the procedure at the hospital in August last year. However, soon afterwards he noticed a problem. The wrong tooth had been removed by the dentists whilst he was under sedation. This error left him with a bill of £2,200 for a new implant crown.
The Manchester Evening News is reporting that Mr Lacey has now received £9,000 compensation for dental negligence in regards to the incident. Staff at the hospital admitted that mistakes in their records meant that a tooth was removed from the lower left side of Mr Lacey’s mouth instead of the lower right side.
The Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust – who are responsible for the dental hospital – are reported to have settled the case out of court. A spokesperson for the Trust offered their sincere apologies to Mr Lacey. It was also noted that measures have been taken by the Trust to ensure a similar mistake can’t happen again in the future.
A man has successfully sued a cosmetic surgeon after an operation on his nose left significant scarring.
Carl Egonu underwent the procedure at Nuffield Hospital in Plymouth back in 2006. The former rugby player underwent a private consultation with Dr Adeshola Adeniran. His nose had been injured several times during his rugby playing days, and he wanted to know whether the shape of his nose could be changed to make it more streamlined.
Mr Egonu underwent the cosmetic procedure but was left with a dark patch-like scar on the top of his nose. This scar is darker than the surrounding skin and will be there for the rest of his life, as a skin graft is not possible.
The Plymouth Herald reports that Mr Egonu made a cosmetic surgery claim because of this and has just received £26,000 compensation as a result. His legal team argued that he was not adequately warned about the potential risks of the procedure.
These risks included a higher risk of “hyper-pigmented” scarring due to the darker colour of Mr Egonu’s skin. Lawyers for Dr Adeniran denied giving inadequate warnings and took the case to the Appeal Court in London, after a county court had already ruled in Mr Egonu’s favour.
However, the Appeal Court agreed with the county court ruling and the award of £26,000 to Mr Egonu. It was stated that there was consistent evidence that Mr Egonu would not have gone ahead with the procedure if the risk of scarring had been properly relayed to him.
Compensation has been awarded to a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest two weeks after surgery.
The unnamed woman underwent an operation to remove her gall bladder in September 2002. She was suffering from multiple gallstones at the time and therefore underwent the procedure at Derriford Hospital.
Whilst the surgery itself was successful, she suffered from post –surgery complications. These complications caused bile to leak into her system, which as well as causing pain, caused sepsis and finally resulted in her suffering a cardiac arrest.
The cardiac arrest has left her with brain damage and in need of care. The Plymouth Herald reports that with the help of her family, the woman made a negligence claim against the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
Her legal team is reported to have argued that the care she received at the hospital after her operation was below standard. The NHS Trust has not admitted liability for the injuries she suffered but is reported to have settled the claim.
The compensation settlement was approved at the High Court in London this week. It will see the woman receive £107,000 coupled with annual payments of £20,000. The money is intended to cover the cost of her care.
Serious blunders that happened to patients in the NHS during 2011/12 have been revealed.
New figures released by the Government reveal the number of ‘never events’ that happened in the NHS. A never event is described by the Department of Health, as a preventable incident so serious that it never should happen.
The new figures reveal that 326 of these ‘never events’ happened during the 2011/12 reporting period.
Shockingly, 70 people underwent surgery and had the wrong part of their body operated on. On top of this, 161 people had foreign objects left inside them after an operation. Such objects include swabs and forceps for example. Other noticeable events saw 41 patients given the wrong implant or prosthesis.
Such incidents are entirely preventable by following the surgical safety checklist. Patients who have suffered from these blunders often go on to make compensation claims against the NHS.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt stated that the vast majority of NHS patients receive excellent care. However, he also stressed that the NHS needed to do more to tackle these never events.
The Health Secretary also confirmed that the NHS Commissioning Board is setting up a task force to help eradicate never events from NHS surgery.
An artist from Leicestershire has received compensation of £37,500 after a surgical error.
Margaret Gold underwent the surgical procedure at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital in April 2009. The operation was in order to test for breast cancer, but ended up having life changing consequences for Mrs Gold.
During surgery, the surgeon mistakenly severed nerves in Mrs Gold’s armpit. This, coupled with delays in providing follow-up treatment, has had a lasting effect on her life. The delays in referring her for follow-up treatment meant that it was impossible to repair the damage done by the surgeon.
The nerve damage has left Mrs Gold unable to straighten her arm, meaning she does not have full use of her left arm and hand.
Now, the Leicester Mercury is reporting that Mrs Gold is set to receive compensation of £37,500 after making a claim against the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The Trust has reportedly given assurances that they have made changes that should prevent a similar thing happening to other patients in the future.
Mrs Gold tells the paper that the injury has left her unable to paint and has made many everyday tasks (such as chopping food) difficult. It was also revealed that she has now received a letter of apology from the hospital.
A total of £6m compensation has been awarded to a boy who suffered a brain injury due to complications in his birth.
Joseph O’Reggio – now 11 years old – was born at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton during April 2011. During his birth, Joseph suffered from oxygen starvation to the brain. This has left him with cerebral palsy.
The cerebral palsy and brain injury has left Joseph with severe learning difficulties. He also has extensive care needs, as he is unable to feed himself, and unable to talk.
It is reported that Joseph’s family made a compensation claim against the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital, arguing that staff negligence resulted in the injuries occurring. His legal team argued that medical staff should have noticed the signs of distress earlier.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has not admitted liability. It has however apologised and admitted there was a breach of duty. The Trust is reported to have agreed to settle the claim on the basis that they pay 80% of the claims valuation.
Joseph will still reportedly receive millions of pounds in compensation due to the seriousness of his injuries. The money will cover the cost of his care for the rest of his life. It will also cover the cost of any specialist equipment he needs to help him get the most out of life.
A compensation payment totalling £15,250 has been made after a woman was left with permanent numbness in her face due to an error by a dentist.
Christina Knights underwent dental surgery in September 2008 at the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby. The operation was to remove her wisdom teeth, and she was told that it was a straightforward procedure.
After the procedure Mrs Knights had no feeling in her chin and bottom lip. She consulted her dentist, who told her that this was normal, and that the feeling would return after six months.
However, after noticing no improvement, Mrs Knights sought the opinion of a specialist in Sheffield. He recommended she have corrective surgery, but unfortunately this was unsuccessful. It was found that during the first operation, two of the nerves in her lower jaw were severed.
As a result of this, she has been left with permanent numbness in her chin and bottom lip. She tells the Grimsby Telegraph that this affects her in many ways. It affects her speech and eating, and her bottom lip turns blue in cold weather.
The paper reports that she made a compensation claim against Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust, which has just been settled in an out-of-court settlement.
Her legal team reportedly showed that the NHS staff had not reviewed her mouth x-ray correctly. This x-ray showed that the nerves were close to the root of her wisdom teeth, resulting in an increased risk of nerve damage. An alternative treatment could have involved removing only the top of the tooth and leaving the root in place.