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Justice For Family Following Fatal Negligent Care

Irwin Mitchell acted on behalf on a woman after her husband died from septicaemia.

Our client approached us after a Coroner ordered an inquest into the death of her late husband, Andrew. Peter Cutler, a medical negligence specialist, represented the family at the inquest before pursuing a case on their behalf.

Throughout Andrew’s time in hospital, there had been a variety of concerns in relation to his care including nursing, poor antibiotic cover and failure to perform the correct procedure when infection had been identified. The case was made more complex due to the fact that Andrew was submitted to hospital with a number of significant medical problems. He had been suffering from diabetes, chronic kidney diseases, essential hypertension and morbid obesity (with a BMI over 50). Andrew also had chronic venous ulcers which were restricted from healing by his diabetes.

There were numerous failings when considering the care Andrew received whilst in hospital. From the moment he was admitted, nursing staff failed to recognise the significance of his condition, which meant that the Tissue Viability team should have been involved from the outset. If their involvement had been implemented, an appropriate care plan would have been put in place and the correct equipment would have been ordered.

Andrew was nursed on an inappropriate bed and mattress which caused him to suffer pressure sores, leaving him in excruciating pain. His pain became so bad that he was unable to move, which made his health worse.

Eventually Andrew’s condition became so bad that doctors arranged a scan to try and identify the problem. The infection had destroyed skin, tissue and muscle so decision was made to operate in an attempt to remove the infected issue. Sadly it was too late and Andrew died shortly after surgery.

Our team helped Andrew’s family to secure £30,000 in damages as compensation for four months of pain and suffering.

In relation to this case, Peter Cutler said: "This was a very complex and challenging case, in which a close-knit family lost a much-loved husband, brother, father, and grandfather.

"A Coroner ruled in 2011 that there were a number of missed opportunities to treat Andrew, but despite this, it wasn’t until three years later that the NHS Trust admitted liability after a painstaking investigation to uncover exactly what went wrong.

"Although the compensation will never make up for the loss of their relative, the family were able to take some comfort from knowing that after years of denial, the Trust finally admitted that mistakes were made in Andrew’s treatment."

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