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Former Nurse Seeks Information in Hospital Asbestos Battle For Justice

Law Firm Appeals For Witnesses From East Birmingham Hospital


A former nurse diagnosed with the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, is appealing to her former colleagues at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital to help provide information about the deadly dust as she launches a battle for justice.

Ann Yapp, 70, from Stourport-on-Severn, was diagnosed in September 2012 with mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs, following numerous x-rays, CT scans and biopsies to get to the bottom of why she was suffering symptoms of breathlessness.

She has now instructed asbestos-related disease experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help her gain the answers she needs to secure justice.
Ann started working for the NHS at East Birmingham Hospital, now known as Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, in 1975 and continued to work there until 2000. During the early stages of her career she started working with the cleaning team which first brought her into contact with the toxic substance asbestos.

As part of her duties, Ann was required to sweep up after the maintenance team following several repairs on lagged pipes and asbestos ceiling roofs which left dust and debris all over the floor. Ann worked in close proximity to the maintenance team but says she was never given a mask and that appropriate safety measures were not in place to protect her from asbestos dust when sweeping up.

After several years Ann decided to change her career and trained to be a nurse, remaining at East Birmingham Hospital throughout her employment.

Ann again recalls being moved around the hospital wards continuing her exposure to asbestos, which was allegedly in the majority of the buildings. In particular Ann worked on ward 30 which she understands had to be closed down due to the amount of asbestos present within the ward.

Mrs Yapp has a long term partner, a daughter, two sons and three grandchildren who are all devastated by the diagnosis. She now hopes that former colleagues and staff during her time of employment will come forward with further information relating to the presence of asbestos at the hospital.

Ann said: "For many years I was exposed to asbestos in numerous places around the hospital and at no time was I given a mask to cover my face. I worked with many people during my time and I hope that someone can come forward with any information they may have.

"I have a large family who I love very much but they have all been affected by my sad news last year. I can’t play with my three grandchildren because I am out of breath and I am now unable to do my gardening which is a lifelong passion.

"I just hope anyone with information, no matter how small, gets in touch as I am keen to see justice done."

Hayley Hill, an asbestos-related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell said: "Mrs Yapp is currently suffering from a painful industrial related disease that has left her and her family devastated and we’re now working to help her secure justice. We urge anyone who worked at East Birmingham Hospital/Heartlands Hospital between 1975 and 2000 to come forward.

"We are greatly concerned about the working practices and presence of asbestos during that period. Employers have been well aware of the dangers relating to asbestos since long before the 1970s so there should be no excuse as to why the correct safety measures were not put in place.

"Unfortunately, people are only now suffering the effects of the negligence as the illnesses associated with the deadly dust can take decades to develop."

Anyone who thinks they can help is asked to contact Hayley Hill at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 5407 or email Hayley.hill@irwinmitchell.com

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