Man Left In Agonising Pain After Delay In Diagnosing An Abscess

Irwin Mitchell Secure Settlement For Father-Of-Four

05.11.2015

A Somerset man was left in agonising pain for several months after doctors failed to diagnose painful abscesses leaving him bed bound for days on end has spoken out for the first time after specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell secure settlement.

Nigel White, from Bridgwater, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in September 1997 and had a history of flare-ups with symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and some bleeding which could be treated with steroids and anti-inflammatories.

The 53-year-old had a flare-up of colitis in August 2009, he went to his local GP and was prescribed some steroids to ease his symptoms. Over the next few months his condition deteriorated and the steroids did not seem to have any effect. He started to suffer from a lot of pain and went back to his GP.

Nigel spent the next few months going back and forward to his GP, A&E and colitis specialists, as his condition deteriorated rapidly and the pain was excruciating. Eventually on 15 November 2009, he was diagnosed with an abscess and underwent treatment and surgery to drain it at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. He was discharged home on 22nd January 2010 and returned to work at the beginning of March once he had recovered.

The father-of-four instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care and the delay in his treatment by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, James Onwublili and Geoffrey Payne.

Now, despite a denial of liability from the three parties involved, the law firm has secured an undisclosed settlement for Nigel for the pain and suffering caused by his condition.

Expert Opinion
“Nigel has been through a painful and difficult ordeal and one which would probably have been avoided if his condition was treated when it ought to have been.

“Nigel suffered from excruciating pain for some weeks following multiple delays in treating his condition. It had a significant impact on his professional and personal life, leading to long periods of time off work and unable to get on with his daily life.

“We are pleased we have been able to secure a settlement for Nigel for the pain and suffering his condition caused him as it was left untreated.”
Camilla Coulter, Solicitor

Nigel’s GP reassured Nigel after another visit to the doctors surgery that he was just suffering from colitis and simply prescribed him more steroids despite him raising his concerns of a new symptom of experiencing pain when he went to the toilet. His pain continued and was so severe he could barely get up.

At the end of October 2009, he consulted Dr Onwubalil at his GP surgery who advised him to sit in hot bath water to relieve the symptoms – Nigel at times would sit up to 18 hours a day in the bath, even sleeping in the bath tub as it was too painful for him to lie in bed.

In November 2009 after repeated consultations at his GP surgery and at the Colitis Clinic, his partner Debbie took him to Stoke Mandeville A&E department as he could barely get up out of the bath tub. He had exploratory surgery and was diagnosed with an abscess.  Mr White had several a sigmoidoscopies and further treatment to drain the abscess.  Eventually he required a colostomy, which is tragically now permanent.

He was discharged from Stoke Mandeville Hospital on 22nd January 2010.

Nigel said: “I suffered for many months with the most agonising pain I have ever experienced in my life. At times I could barely stand to be examined by a doctor and on some days would spend 16-18 hours in the bath tub to try and alleviate the pain I was in.

“I felt like I was just passed from pillar to post and that the doctors who treated me did not take into account the extreme pain and suffering I was in. I have dealt with my colitis for many years now and the symptoms I had were nothing I had ever experienced before.

“I am pleased that my legal team at Irwin Mitchell have resolved my case and I can put all of this behind me once and for all.”