Medical Negligence Lawyers Join Family In Calling For Lessons To Be Learned Following Brain Surgery
A Hospital Trust told to improve by inspectors has apologised after a grandmother suffered a damaged blood vessel during brain surgery, leaving her permanently disabled.
Jane Grocott was injured when a medical device, a Budde Halo set, clamped to her skull moved during an operation to remove a brain tumour at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The damaged blood vessel caused the mum-of-three and grandmother-of-three to suffer a stroke.
Staffordshire mum left permanently disabled following stroke
As a result Jane, of Rowley Park, Stafford, Staffordshire, has been left with severe memory problems and reduced speech. She relies significantly on her husband Chris, to care for her. He also feeds her. Jane, 66, is wheelchair dependent, doubly incontinent and has to be moved using a hoist.
Following the incident her family instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care and help her access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies she requires for the rest of her life.
Hospital Trust apologises to family who instructed medical negligence lawyers
University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which runs the Queen Elizabeth, admitted liability and apologised to the family. The Trust carried out an assessment of the rest of its Budde Halo sets. As a result of a number of sets were decommissioned and replacement sets ordered.
In a letter to Chris, 66, Professor David Rosser, chief executive of the biggest NHS trust in England, wrote: “I am very sorry that Jane did not receive the level of care that she was entitled to expect from the Trust and that we aim to provide to all our patients.
“I would like to offer the Trust’s sincere apology and regret that there was a failure to treat Jane appropriately and we are sorry that this resulted in Jane suffering a serious brain injury which has had such as significant effect on both of you.”
The family’s legal team at Irwin Mitchell is now working with the Trust to agree a settlement which will fund the ongoing care Jane requires.
Call for lessons to be learned following Queen Elizabeth Hospital brain surgery
The family and their lawyers are calling for lessons to be learned.
Expert Opinion“The catastrophic and avoidable injuries Jane suffered have had a devastating effect, not only on her but her family.
“The last few years and trying to come to terms with how life has changed has been incredibly difficult.
“While nothing can make up for what’s happened we’re pleased that we have been able to provide the family with the answers they deserve.
“We welcome the Trust’s apology and continue to work with it to ensure Jane receives the specialist support, care and therapies she will require for the rest of her life.
“However, it’s also vital that lessons are learned from what happened to improve patient safety. Jane’s case is a stark reminder of how dangerous a stroke can be.” Emma Rush - Partner
Medical negligence: Jane Grocott's story
Jane was referred to a specialist after attending an optician appointment complaining of reduced vision.
Prior to the surgery on 11 October, 2018, a device to be used in the procedure which clamped to the skull was found to have missing parts so was not used. A replacement device, which had signs of wear and tear, was used. During surgery one of the device’s arms moved with a blade damaging one of Jane’s blood vessels.
Following surgery Jane was taken to intensive care. Doctors believed she may have suffered a stroke, which was confirmed by a scan the following day.
Jane, a former housewife who is now registered blind, spent two months in hospital. She was discharged to a specialist rehabilitation unit where she stayed for four months.
Initially Jane had to be fed through a tube but can now be fed by Chris.
Family's stroke awareness campaign
Chris, a retired dentist, said: “Before Jane’s stroke we really enjoyed life as a family and were looking forward to our retirement. She used to be such a fun and outgoing person. She could strike up a conversation with anyone and I used to say ‘Jane could talk for England’.
“Sadly, that’s all in the past for us now, and seeing my wife struggle day after day is heart-breaking. Jane used to be independent and looked after all of us but now she needs everyone else to help care for her.
“Jane has very poor short term memory and little to no spontaneous speech. She will answer questions but cannot strike up a conversation, which is so different to how she used to be.
“It’s difficult not to get upset at how our lives, but particularly Jane’s, have changed forever because of the failings in her care.
“However, as a family we also don’t want to try and dwell on the past. The admission by the Trust means we can now focus on getting Jane the best care possible, allowing her the best quality of life she can have.
“We just hope that by speaking out we can help raise awareness of the impact a stroke can have and try and prevent what happened to Jane from happening to others.”
University Hospital Birmingham Trust told to improve by CQC
Last month the Care Quality Commission told UHB it required improvement amid concerns over patient safety.
It followed visits to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield in June.
Find out more about our expertise in supporting patients and families following a stroke at our dedicated medical negligence section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.
More information about strokes and the signs and symptoms can be found at the website of the charity Different Strokes