Woman Wins £1.2m After 'Hospital's Errors'

Botched Operation Leaves Woman’s Family Homeless

05.12.2013

A woman has won £1.2 million in compensation after hospital errors left her injured and meant her husband had to give up work to care for her.

In October 2006, Tracey Hughes, who was 36 years old at the time of the accident, was in her garden when she broke her leg and was rushed to Boston's Pilgrim Hospital to fix her tibia and fibula.

Ms Hughes had routine surgery to resolve the problem and was expected to completely recover within six months.

However, surgeons did not follow basic guidelines and the leg was not immobilised as it should have been. To fix the problems from the first operation, a second procedure took place in November 2007 but more mistakes were made.

In a move that was expected to finally resolve the situation, Ms Hughes was referred to specialists at Leicester Royal Infirmary in January 2008 and underwent a series of painful operations in an attempt to fix the broken bones.

The operations included shortening her right leg by 3.5cms and the fusing of her ankle bones. For a long time she faced the prospect of having her leg amputated below the knee.

She is likely to face further surgeries in the future and has been left with significant and permanent pain.

All of this took a toll on Ms Hughes' financial life as her partner Simon was forced to take a prolonged period of time off work to care for her, causing him to lose his job.

This meant the family fell into arrears with their mortgage repayments and their home was repossessed.
Now, the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has compensated Ms Hughes to the tune of £1.2 million.

Commenting on her plight, Ms Hughes said: "The last seven years has been a complete nightmare for the whole family. Simon lost his job, we lost our home ... and my own hopes of training to become a veterinary nurse are ruined.

"We are relieved that the case has finally been settled after such a long time, but I have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life."

Expert Opinion
Ms Hughes’ life has been ruined as a result of receiving sub-standard surgery and we are pleased for her that the matter has now settled.

“While most NHS workers do a fantastic job, sadly we are still regularly contacted by patients who have undergone negligent surgery that has left them needing substantial further care because of unacceptable errors.

“We work to help secure vital funds to provide further treatment, ongoing rehabilitation and recover loss of earnings.

“We hope the Trust has thoroughly investigated why errors were made in Ms Hughes care and that they have now made improvements or implemented new procedures to protect the safety of patients in future.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner