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In the latest in our Q&A series, our Head of Medical Negligence and Personal Injury department, Sue Edwards, shares a few examples of the queries she has received and the initial responses she replied with.

 

Client Query Number One

Dear Sue

In 2017, I was admitted to hospital with back pain and was diagnosed with a urinary infection. I was in hospital for 3 weeks, during which I developed bedsores on both heels. Due to a combination of the back pain and the bedsores, I was unable to move from the bed, which prevented me from having physiotherapy for the back pain and doing the exercises required.

I was discharged from hospital after three weeks and for the next six I was visited daily by district nurses to dress the sores on my heels. They remain tender even now.

I have complained to the hospital who have agreed that the bed sores were preventable. There is another issue, however. My mobility has significantly gone downhill because of the prolonged bed rest and the fact that the bed sores, even after my discharge from hospital, prevented me from being able to walk without pain.

I should add that I have suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years. However, before I was admitted to hospital in 2017, I was able to walk short distances unaided. I now depend on crutches to get about at home and, if I go out, I use a wheelchair. Do I have grounds to make a claim against the hospital?

Peter

 

Dear Peter

I am sorry to hear about what happened to you. From what you have said, it certainly sounds as if you have grounds for a medical negligence claim against the hospital. 

The investigations into how the hospital negligence has affected you should also consider whether there is a link between the deterioration in your mobility and the prolonged bed rest/inability to undertake physiotherapy when you were in hospital. This would need to be considered by a Neurologist specialising in Multiple Sclerosis.

Howells has a lot of experience in these type of cases, so please contact us if you would like to discuss your claim further.

 

Client Query Number Two

Dear Sue,

My elderly father has recently gone into a nursing home. It broke my heart when I realised I couldn’t look after him at home anymore, but since my mother’s death and balancing a busy job, the family took the difficult step to find him a residential care package. We visited a number of places and found my dad a place in a very well-regarded home.

Last Friday, I received a call from the manager to advise me that dad had suffered a fall. My husband raced to the nursing home and it turned out he’d fallen down some stairs and fractured his hip. He is extremely shaken and we fear this could lead to him going downhill fast.

Before this accident, my Dad had mobility problems and he used a zimmer frame. We put the home on notice of that and we were told my Dad would have a ground floor room because of his poor mobility. However unbeknown to us, the day before the accident, he had been moved to a room on the 3rd floor.

It appears that he was trying to get to the dining room on the first floor when he fell on the stairs.  

We have asked for a full-explanation as to why his room was changed and why he was allowed to access stairs without supervision. I am devastated and feel like I have let my Dad down. Can you help us?

Sharon

 

Dear Sharon,

I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s fall. Taking a decision to place a loved one into residential care is never an easy one.

From what you have said, it appears that the home probably failed in their duty of care to your Dad. In a nutshell, they were aware that your Dad had significant mobility problems and moved him, without it considering the risks of doing so.

Secondly, once they moved him, they appear then to have failed to put in place a plan to reduce or prevent any obvious risks i.e. they should have ensured he did not access the stairs without assistance.

We would be happy to look into this for you further.

All the best,

Sue

 

Do You Have a Negligence Query?

If you, or someone you love, has suffered similar negligence or injury, please get in touch with our friendly solicitors who can discuss your case in greater detail and advise on your chances of making a successful claim.

 

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr).
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes andrea.c@howellslegal.com