Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Would you sue the NHS?
  • Premier Icon Joe
    Free Member

    In August I suffered a severe ankle fracture and had it repaired at a leading London hospital. I was called at midnight before the surgery (about eight days after the incident) and asked to come quickly to the hospital as a space has come available on a list. I asked if the surgeon was a foot ankle specialist. They said he was.

    Upon arriving I was assessed by a junior doctor. The surgeon was already on his list I was told…

    Anyway to cut a long story short, the outcome is poor, I’ve never seen or spoken to the surgeon ever again (he didn’t even come and see me in recovery), it turns out he is a hip specialist and 3 foot/ankle specialist I’ve seen have been very uncomplimentary about the surgery. Additionally and separate to the botched reduction of the bone, it seems likely that they didn’t do some of the repairs that were necessary in the first place.

    During my recovery I was placed under the care of an elbow specialist?!! During one of my earlier consultations I asked to be transferred to a specialist foot/ankle guy, but was assured that my x-rays look fine and this was a bread-and-butter kind of job for the hospital and that I shouldn’t worry.

    I am now facing a hugely complicated revision surgery, in order to re-break the leg and another 4 to 6 months off work the outcome is also extremely difficult now to predict.

    I’m now in an extremely difficult situation. I haven’t worked since august, and I am in pretty bad financial waters. I may not be able to work again in my field.

    I don’t really feel it going down the legal route with the NHS as it at the end of the day, we all pay into it and it is just taking money off the tax payer of which I am one of. Nobody did anything to deliberately hurt me, i just don’t think things were managed that well.

    I feel that I would have never found out about the issues with my surgery if I hadn’t paid for private opinions. Since my private opinions, the London hospital has suddenly been keen to re-engage and promised the revision surgery as soon as covid allows. My girlfriend is an NHS doctor (…at the same hospital) and furious about the whole situation… she says I should sue them without a second thought.

    Does anyone have any advice or thoughts?

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    You’ve suffered a loss, I would take advice at least if the sum was significant.

    NHS should not be seen as a charity and you should not suffer any loss due to anyone’s legal negligence. It’s not your fault that it’s underfunded.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Free Member

    Sounds like they got it badly wrong. Sue.
    A mate went into hospital for a relatively minor problem with a disc. He ended up neeeding two sticks to walk. After five years the hospital settled out of court (two days before the case was going to be heard.)
    If they screwed up through anything that they did wrong then they should pay up.
    My mate got a few million. He will never run, ski or play football again and has a pretty grim future.

    Premier Icon jonnyboi
    Full Member

    All trusts have litigation departments with plenty of full time staff on the payroll. The reason for which will be pretty obvious.

    You should definitely look at your legal options

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Yep I would.

    Legal action provides a necessary feedback loop to improve processes / learn lessons.

    Premier Icon jolmes
    Free Member

    Yup, wouldn’t think twice, sounds like a severe case of passing the buck. My mum had her back broken by the NHS leaving her unable to work again at 47. They dragged the case out for 9 years and then paid her off a week before the hearing, she stupidly took the first offer as she was just sick of it all and wanted to move on.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Maybe. But certainly take legal advice on the matter – and the likely outcome.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    As a matter of urgency you should request a copy of your all your medical records from your Practice and those from all hospitals that have been involved in your ‘care’. Paperwork will go ‘missing’ so be warned and many lies will be told. Don’t bother with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, check out their rating on TrustPilot. I would also get your MP on board, preferably make a face to face appointment with him/her. Additionally, check your household insurance.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Its never a gimmie as opinions always vary and best efforts can be seen as good enough even if it leads to sub optimal outcomes – for example would a ankle specialist have meant waiting longer thus making the repair more difficult?
    On balance I probably would for that sort of issue but make sure yo have a good legal case before chucking money at it.

    the problem with medical mistakes is often its not one big mistake but a series of small ones that compound to make a big mess

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    All trusts have litigation departments with plenty of full time staff on the payroll. The reason for which will be pretty obvious.

    I vaguely know a chap who works in one. He half jokingly told me that they hadn’t killed anyone since Covid.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    In your case I’d take legal advice with the intention to sue unless the advice was not to. You’ve suffered a financial loss that will continue as well as potentially ongoing issues as a result of decisions taken by the hospital in a planned way. This isn’t the result of a doctor at the scene of an accident having to make crucial decisions in difficult circumstances.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Full Member

    I shate your discomfort of suing a public organisation that is poorly funded, and by the taxpayer, butin the case of…

    I haven’t worked since august, and I am in pretty bad financial waters. I may not be able to work again in my field.

    I think I would. To pay for future needs and loss of earnings, it’s not like a pay off to get you nice foreign holidays and cars and stuff you’d otherwise not be able to afford.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    It depends. Get legal advice from a medical negligence specialist, not just your bog-standard solicitor.

    Someone like this: https://www.leighday.co.uk/our-services/medical-negligence/

    As above, you need your full records in hand before you make a decision to litigate, and possibly will have to spend on independent medical reports/assessments before even thinking about proceeding.

    The problem is always separating poor outcomes (which happen), from poor outcomes as a direct result of poor care/clinical practice, which is what you need to prove. It is one thing for other orthopods to be uncomplimentary, another to deliver clear cut evidence of inadequate or negligent practice. Obviously if there is obvious evidence of the wrong procedure etc etc. But you’ll need expert impartial advice, and be prepared to accept that ambiguity tends not to be in your favour, even if that advice has cost ££.

    As for the the ‘don’t sue the NHS’, you may actually be doing it (and patients) a favour. Sadly, sometimes the only time that poor or outdated practice is revealed (and subsequently acted upon) is via litigation.

    Good luck.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Full Member

    They are offering to put it right. Surely thats the best option right there?

    I had a similar thing with my shoulder. Again ended up going private and when i did the guy said few im glad youve done that. Im more of a hip and knee man…. this is 12 months later!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    I probably should have, I got somewhat messed up by some outright intentional malpractice. Chose not to, I feel pretty OK about that… But my situation wasn’t as bad as yours. I definitely wouldn’t feel bad about it in your situation, not for a second. There’s a massive difference between ambulance chasing and punitive settlements, and seeking reasonable compensation for actual losses.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t over-read into the specialist thing. Yes surgeons will tend to have a specialism but that doesn’t mean they’re no good at anything else or that a specialist is necessarily required. My guy for my hip surgery was a hip specialist by coincidence, but it wasn’t really relevant to my surgery. You should have been given correct info but from what you’ve told us it’s not clear if it was the issue.

    Bottom line is that surgery on broken bits isn’t straightforward and there’s always risks and the possibility that they can’t do all they would want to- the question then is whether they’ve done all they could and should, whether good decisions were made, how that’s been communicated to you etc. Which really is where investigations/cases come in.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    I didn’t (buggered wrist due to basic incompetence) but I think you should definitely get your records and some proper legal advice.

    Hope you get a good final outcome

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I appreciate that suing the NHS feels distasteful. But don’t they have liability insurance like literally every other trade ever? Plus they’re government-(under)funded. Surely any claims against the NHS won’t actually deprive the NHS?

    If a builder had dropped a brick from the roof onto your gran and killed her, would you be thinking “well.. he’s a sole trader so…”?

    I deeply regret not going after them after the way my dad was treated, but that’s a longer story.

    Premier Icon toby1
    Full Member

    Read Black Box thinking.

    It sounds like financially you should at least investigate it, if you were responsible for all the faults on a job you’d be expected to fix them or not take payment for it, you should at least be compensated for loss of earnings.

    Premier Icon BillMC
    Full Member

    It’s a rotten decision to have to make but you might be saving someone else from an injurious op.

    Premier Icon thegreatape
    Free Member

    Having heard numerous times from my wife about mistakes and poor practice she and colleagues have reported that the clinical director at the local hospital refuses to engage with, I’d have no hesitation. It’s the only way these arrogant dinosaurs will learn.

    Premier Icon Joe
    Free Member

    Cheers chaps, I’ve got an appointment with a solicitor tomorrow.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    But don’t they have liability insurance like literally every other trade ever?

    They self insure.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

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