A High Court Appeal has held that a surgeon was negligent in performing a hip operation, which left the claimant patient with permanent sciatic nerve damage, considerable pain and no longer able to walk.
At the original hearing, the court heard that the surgeon had failed to detect and remove medical bone sealant, which had escaped from the socket of the hip bone of a 79 year old female patient. Following the operation the claimant is confined to using a wheelchair and, because of limited mobility, modifications were also needed at her home.
However, the NHS hospital trust refused to accept the High Court’s decision against them and the claimant was forced to go through an 18-month appeal process to hear the Appeal Court rule again in her favour. During that time, the claimant suffered significant anxiety, distress, and difficulties in mobility at home because she was unable to afford the modifications needed.
Prolonged patient worry and suffering
The claimant solicitors said they were surprised when the hospital trust decided to appeal, which only prolonged the patient’s worry and suffering for a further 18 months. “It was a clear case of clinical negligence as the surgeon had failed to identify the leaking bone cement”.
Even after the appeal court verdict, which agreed with the initial High Court verdict that there had been a clear breach of duty, the hospital trust still refuses to accept the blame. A medical director of the hospital trust, however, does “accept and acknowledge the findings of the court and wishes to apologise to the patient for the problems she has encountered since surgery”.
Following the Appeal Court ruling, the hospital trust will now be required to compensate the claimant for their error, which will finally enable the patient to acquire all the necessary therapy and equipment needed to make her life easier.