Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

If you or a member of your family have been injured as a result of medical negligence at a hospital within the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust you may be entitled to financial compensation. To speak to an expert about your situation, call Quittance on 0800 612 7456.

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Case details

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2009) Case Study

A 12 year old girl was awarded damages totalling £1.8m in an approved out of court settlement after a hospital admitted a delay of 2 years in diagnosing and treating a congenital bilateral hip dislocation.

Although the girl was seen by medical staff at a hospital within the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust when aged 13 months, it was not until she was around 3 years old that the diagnosis was made. This delay meant that she had to undergo extensive surgery in an attempt to correct the problem when, had the condition been diagnosed when she was younger, it may have been treated without surgery.

By treating the condition at a very early age - by placing them in a fabric splint known as a Pavlik harness - children born with bilateral hip dislocation (also known as developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)) generally do not require bilateral hip replacements until in their mid-50s. However, because of the surgery she had sustained, the claimant already had limited walking ability, stiffness in hips and an unsteady gait. She needed to use a wheelchair for longer distances and had to live in single storey accommodation.

It was anticipated that she would need a right hip replacement in her 20s and this would need a revision within 10 years of that. In addition, she would need the left hip replacing at about age 40, with further revisions at a later date.

She would probably need to undergo a 'Girdlestone' procedure (resection arthroplasty) of the right hip by her mid-40s. This would involve removing part of the ball or head of the thigh bone to allow it to fuse with hip socket in the straight leg position. Although her hip would be pain free she would be unable to bend her leg at the hip.

The prognosis therefore was that she was likely to be wheelchair-bound by her mid-40s and would need assistance getting in and out of the wheelchair.

Compensation Settlement

The girl had been born with septo-optic dysplasia, a malformation of the brain leaving her with severe visual impairment, cognitive and learning difficulties, and an endocrine deficiency.

Educational psychologists agreed that she had a significant cognitive deficit and limited intelligence. Her verbal memory was weak and she would be vulnerable after leaving the educational system. As a result of these difficulties she would always require advice and supervision for much of her daily living, and, due to her visual impairment, would be unable to carry out domestic activities and navigating unfamiliar environments without assistance. It was unlikely that she would have been capable of remunerative work irrespective of the defendants' breach of duty.

Because of these vulnerabilities it was agreed that the claimant would always be a protected party, regardless of her physical disability.

The claim was settled and approved on a lump sum basis rather than periodical payments for 3 principle reasons.

  1. The claimant's care needs would fluctuate considerably as and when surgery was required, and although predictions had been made as to the dates this might take place, these could not be precise.
  2. Since there would be a requirement for a level of care in any event due to her lack of capacity, the level of periodical payments for future care for the injury and the corresponding tax advantages of periodical payments would be relatively modest
  3. When assessing her entitlement to the statutory provision of care for her lack of capacity, the claimant's local authority would have a discretion whether to take into account income (which would include periodical payments) and this might lead to a reduction in payments for that care.

Had it not been for the defendant's negligence, she would not been in receipt of a large capital sum, nor would she have needed the services of a professional deputy or similar, therefore compensation should effectively be ring fenced and not means-tested in relation to other benefits.

The claimant's representatives assessed the breakdown of the settlement as follows

Past care and assistance £25,000
Miscellaneous expenses £3,000
Interest £10,000
Future care and assistance £500,000
Accommodation £500,000
Aids and equipment £95,000
Physiotherapy £25,000
Medical treatment £22,000
Transport £190,000
Occupational therapy £5,000
Holiday costs £60,000
Professional Deputy/Court of protection £250,000
Pain, suffering and loss of amenity £115,000 (£141,831.52 RPI adjusted)
Total £1,800,000 (£2,219,971.6 RPI adjusted)

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Making a claim for medical or clinical negligence can seem initially overwhelming. Hospital Trusts are large complex organisations. Just finding out what happened can be complicated.

The panel of solicitors have significant experience in taking on hospital trusts and securing financial compensation for people affected by clinical or medical negligence.

Call us on 0800 612 7456 to discuss your situation with a claims expert or find out what your claim could be worth.

Read more: clinical negligence compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher