Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Compensation Claim

If you have been injured or become ill whilst under the care of a hospital within the Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, you may be entitled to make a clinical negligence compensation claim. To discuss your options with an expert, call Quittance on 0800 612 7456.

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2009) - Case Study

A 78-year-old man (82 years at trial) accepted an out-of-court settlement of £110,000 (£135,536.64 adjusted for RPI) following inappropriate and unnecessary surgery at a hospital within the Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

In August 2004, the Claimant was referred to a consultant surgeon following a diagnosis of intermittent claudication, a condition that restricts blood flow in the leg. This was thought to be due to a narrowing of the arteries caused by smoking.

In September 2005, after a year of monitoring, doctors carried out an X-ray of the blood vessels. The test identified blockages within with the main artery of the leg. The Claimant was admitted for surgery in May 2006 to bypass the blocked portion of artery using a prosthetic graft. Surgeons performed two procedures known as a right iliac angioplasty and a right femoro-popliteal bypass.

A few days after the surgery, a nurse noted that the surgical wound at the lower end of the thigh was gaping and oozing. A wound swab was taken. Despite the injury, the Claimant was discharged and arrangements were made for a district nurse to attend the patient's wound and change his dressings.

After the Claimant had gone home, Infection Control told nursing staff that the Claimant had MRSA. The district nurse informed the Claimant of this fact and continued to change his dressings on a daily basis. Antibiotics were prescribed to fight the infection.

The Claimant was seen in hospital in June 2006. Doctors decided to stop the antibiotics and encourage the Claimant to begin moving around his home. Three days later, the Claimant tripped and fell in his hallway. X-rays confirmed that he had fractured the right femur at the junction with the hip. He was admitted to hospital with a view to carrying out a partial hip replacement.

Before the operation was performed, the orthopaedic senior house officer was called to investigate continued, fresh bleeding from the initial surgical wound. The doctor called a general surgeon. The general surgeon could not feel a pulse in the right thigh and noted that the Claimant's leg was dusky and that the patient had MRSA.

The Claimant was transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital at the request of the on-call Vascular Registrar. The infected femoro-popliteal bypass graft was removed. Surgeons advised that, given the MRSA infection, a right above-knee amputation was inevitable. The amputation was performed on June 17, 2006.

It was decided that a hip replacement was not an option at this time as the Claimant would not be able to use a prosthetic limb in view of his amputation. The fracture at the neck of the femur would also remain untreated.

The arguments

The case turned on complex medical evidence from experts who identified a number of failings.

The decision to perform a popliteal bypass graft in the first instance was criticised by an independent vascular surgeon. The expert felt that an angioplasty would have resolved the Claimant's condition, and that doctors did not give sufficient weight to this option. Even if a bypass graft was appropriate, a vein should have been used instead of a prosthetic graft.

The expert also believed that substandard treatment of the MRSA infection caused the graft to become infected. In the expert's opinion, if the proper vascular treatment has been given at the outset, the amputation would not have occurred.

Further evidence was obtained from a microbiologist who concluded that the MRSA infection was a direct result of poor hand hygiene. This indicated negligence on the part of the medical staff delivering surgical or post-operative care.

Reports from a psychologist and doctor identified that the Claimant was suffering from a depressive disorder and that his level of disability has increased and been made permanent by the amputation.

Compensation settlement

Total damages of £110,000 (£135,536.64 RPI adjusted) were agreed in an out-of-court settlement. Of this, £75,000 (£92,411.35 RPI adjusted was attributed to pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The balance of the damages were for the costs of care, travel, equipment, accommodation and counselling costs.

Making a compensation claim against Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Making a claim for medical or clinical negligence can be daunting at first, and expert legal advice is strongly recommended. Hospital Trusts are complex organisations and it can be difficult to establish what has happened.

Our 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.