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Woman awarded £1m payout after NHS blunder

The woman, who ran a successful cleaning business, started to suffer severe back ache and tingling down her legs and was referred for an MRI scan by her GP. What should have been straightforward diagnosis and treatment turned into a nightmare after delays have now caused a permanent spinal injury.

The woman attended her MRI scan at a mobile unit which was operated by a private company but contracted by the NHS.  Her scan showed a prolapsed disc which was pressing on the cauda equina nerves at the base spine.  Normally this is an urgent case which would need immediate surgery to prevent permanent damage however the radiographer at the time failed to treat it as an emergency.  

The next issue came when the scan was received by a specialist radiologist at the Royal Blackburn Hospital who also failed to recognise the urgency of the diagnosis.

Three days after her scan she developed symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, including an abnormal sensation in her bowels, numbness in her groin and saddle area and difficulty passing urine and returned to her GP for help.  The GP instantly recognised the warning signs and urgently contacted the orthopaedic department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital. 

It was only after the call from her GP that her case was given the urgency it required and she was booked in for emergency surgery at the Preston Royal Hospital for specialist care.

Unfortunately the surgery was too late and permanent damage had already been done.  As a result of living in severe pain, she has lost her business and her marriage and is now left with significant pain in her legs, is doubly incontinent and no sexual function.

As a result of her life being devastated as a result of delays to surgery she was awarded almost £1m in compensation following a battle with the NHS.

She said:  “The impact of the errors has been huge.

“Before my injury I ran a successful cleaning business, but it was no longer an option due to the pain and my disability. All sense of normal life quickly vanished and the strain of everything caused my marriage to break down.

“No amount of compensation will ever make up for that, but I am relieved that I’ll now have some help to cope and try to make the best of things.

The compensation will pay to upgrade her accommodation for her disabilities and provide for specialist equipment.  It will also compensate her for the loss of her income from her business and the significant impact it has had on her personal life.

At Thorneycroft Solicitors we deal with a wide range of hospital negligence claims and a diverse range of medical injuries as a result of negligent medical care.  This is a particularly sad case as the patient was  not made fully aware of the risks of a straight forward procedure and now she is unable to have children.  At Thorneycroft solicitors, we are sensitive to each and every one of our clients stories and can advise on whether you have a valid compensation case or not.

We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your hospital compensation claim. After this, the majority of hospital claims are dealt with on a no win – no fee basis.

Call us now on 0330 333 7883 or complete our simple enquiry form