Legal Action As Diabetic Woman Needs Amputation Following Pressure Sores

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers Investigating Treatment Provided By Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

21.10.2015

A woman with diabetes who had to undergo a below knee amputation because of infected pressure sores on her heel following treatment for a fall is taking legal action as she has concerns over the standard of her treatment.

Brenda Curtis, from Thatcham, Berkshire, suffers with Type 1 diabetes and chronic kidney disease which means she undergoes haemodialysis 3 times a week.

The 57 year old was admitted to Royal Berkshire Hospital on 20 October last year following a fall in which she suffered a fractured pelvis. Three days later it was noted that she had a Grade 3 pressure sore on her heel but she never saw a specialist Tissue Viability nurse and there was no mention of the sore on her discharge letter on 27th October.

Over the following months she was in and out of hospital for antibiotics and treatment on the sores which became infected and extremely painful. But after a final infection at the start of February this year a decision was made for Brenda to undergo a below knee amputation which took place on 18 February – just four months after she first suffered a fall.

Brenda and her husband Philip have now instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their concerns regarding the treatment she received. However, despite the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust responding to a letter of complaint making several apologies for the care, the Trust’s lawyers have not yet admitted formal liability for her problems.

The couple is seeking answers from the NHS Trust and a resolution to the legal case to help them adapt their home to make it more suitable for her new situation.

Rebecca Brown, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the couple, said:

Expert Opinion
“The past year has been an absolute nightmare for Brenda and her life has been turned upside down by the amputation. Sadly the NHS Trust’s lawyers are yet to admit formal liability despite medical staff apologising for several mistakes in a letter to the couple back in January.

“It’s disappointing that despite there being what appear to be clear errors in this case, the NHS Trust is yet to respond to our legal letter, dragging the matter out for Brenda and Philip and preventing them from getting the extra specialist support they need to help them come to terms with what had happened.

“Any amputation is obviously a major event for those involved and they deserve answers as to what went wrong and why, as well as a fair settlement to help them get the necessary rehabilitation Brenda needs, and any equipment or adaptations for her home which may help her to get around more easily.”
Rebecca Brown, Associate

Her husband Philip, said: “It was just so shocking how quickly the problems with her heel sores escalated. In four months Brenda had gone from being treated for a fall with a blister on her heel, to having infected pressure sores needing days and days in hospital, and ultimately an amputation.

“We feel that the issues could have been better managed. The first discharge letter didn’t mention pressure sores at all and there were other things wrong on the letter such as recording the wrong type of diabetes which is extremely worrying. We’ve just lost all confidence and I want Brenda to get the best possible support and rehabilitation she can so that she can begin to move on from this.”