Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence Newsletter – September 2014

We are pleased to present the September 2014 edition of our Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence Newsletter from the Clarke Willmott claims team.

Our aim is to provide you with a brief overview of key developments and issues in the field of serious injury and clinical negligence.

If there are any issues you wish to discuss further, please contact a member of our team by calling free on 0800 316 8892.

Damages awarded for failure to diagnose a Stress Fracture

The Claimant instructed Clarke Willmott in January 2011 through his Legal Expense Insurance.

The Claimant attended Accident and Emergency department at the Queen Alexander Hospital in Portsmouth due to sudden onset of pain following his participation in the Great South Run. He described pain in his groin and in the upper and mid-thigh. No x-rays were performed and as a result he was misdiagnosed with a torn abductor muscle and continued to weight bear.

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Shocking road death figures released

According to estimates provided by the Government this week, road casualty figures have been the subject of a dramatic and worrying rise in the early part of 2014.

The Government’s statistics show:-

There were 5,500 incidents of KSIs (killed or seriously injured) in January to March this year, representing a 17% rise.

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Dangerous dogs: owners face tougher sentences for attacks

Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act have come into force, which mean that dog owners can now face prosecution if their dog attacks a person in their home or on any private property, except if they attack a trespasser.

The maximum sentences for allowing a dog to attack someone have also been substantially increased.

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Negligent management of diabetic foot and subsequent amputation

Mr B instructed us to act in respect of a claim for the management of a diabetic foot blister in May 2009 for him against the local Primary Care Trust.

Mr B regularly attended the Podiatrists, who were employed by his local Primary Care Trust. In May 2009, a blister was observed on the underside of his little toe. This was initially treated with debridement and a dressing was applied. Subsequently, redness, swelling and pain appeared and an infection was diagnosed and antibiotics provided. Mr B was subsequently seen by the Diabetic Foot Clinic and his General Practitioner. By June, he had developed cellulitis and by July osteomyelitis was confirmed. The Claimant was admitted to Hospital for management of the infection but unfortunately in September 2009, amputation of the right little toe was required. Subsequently, in October 2009, the fourth toe was also amputated. A scan performed on February 2010 confirmed the development of Charcot foot of the mid foot.

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An inquiry into the provision of local health services for patients being discharged from Spinal Cord Injury Centres

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is launching a special inquiry looking into local health service provision for patients being discharged from Spinal Cord Injuries Centres. The high quality, bespoke rehabilitation provided by SCI Centres is often undermined by the timeliness and quality of health services provided in the community by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Once the SCI patient is ready to be discharged, delays frequently occur in the provision of services such as NHS Continuing Healthcare, joint funded care packages, wheelchair provision and specialist equipment such as ventilators, leading to delayed discharges and bed blocking in the SCI Centres. These delays in turn may lead to complications for those SCI people waiting to be admitted to an SCI Centre, affecting rehabilitation times and outcomes. Whilst these issues can affect all SCI people, the situation is most acute in the highest need SCI patients – those with tetraplegia, and particularly those reliant on mechanical ventilation for their breathing.

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