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Lawyers Issue Judicial Review Application As Tetraplegic Man’s Discharge From Hospital Continues To Be Delayed

Public Law Specialists At Irwin Mitchell Are Acting On Behalf Of The Salford Royal Patient

19.03.2018

James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

Specialist lawyers acting on behalf of a 54-year-old man who has been a patient at Salford Royal Hospital since June 2016 have issued the application for a judicial review against NHS Manchester Central Clinical Commissioning Group as the man looks to end his stay at the hospital.

Naphtali Denderowicz, a father-of-four originally from Gateshead, whose family have moved to Manchester due to his illness, is tetraplegic having suffered a spinal infection and subsequent epidural abscess. He was initially admitted to hospital in Israel, while there on holiday, in May 2016 when he was found unresponsive and unable to move his legs. It was following this episode that the abscess was discovered.

Following surgery to remove the abscess, Mr Denderowicz was in a coma for five weeks, before being transferred to Salford Royal Hospital by air ambulance on 8th June, 2016. During this time, relatives of the family flew out to bring Mr Denderowicz’s children back to England. It was at this point, the family took the decision to move to Manchester to be closer to family members.

Since his arrival at the hospital, Mr Denderowicz has remained an in-patient even though he was moved out of intensive care in December 2016 and initial discussions were held in March 2017 regarding him being discharged to receive care at him home.

Mr Denderowicz was told in May 2017 that he qualified for fully-funded NHS Continuing Healthcare, but it later transpired that the funding on offer would only be sufficient to fund a placement in a care home, and would not be enough to allow him to return home to live with his family.

As a result, nine months on he remains at Royal Salford Hospital, and he has instructed specialist healthcare lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have issued the application for a judicial review of the actions taken by the NHS Manchester Central Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Mathieu Culverhouse, the expert public law and human rights lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office who is representing Mr Denderowicz, said: 

Expert Opinion
“We have been instructed to act on behalf of Mr Denderowicz and we hope that we can help him to be discharged from hospital, with the appropriate provision being put in place for his care at his family home.

“We believe the hospital is an unsuitable environment for our client in the current circumstances, where he has been deemed medically fit for discharge.

“A prolonged stay in hospital only puts our client at greater risk of hospital–acquired infection, which for someone in Mr Denderowicz’s health condition, could be extremely dangerous.”
Mathieu Culverhouse, Partner

The issue for Mr Denderowicz’s delayed discharge is the personal health budget being offered by the CCG, which equates to only 105 hours of care per week, even though the NHS doctors caring for him in hospital have only agreed to his discharge if a 24-hour care package is in place.

Following an initial refusal from Mr Denderowicz’s legal representatives, the CCG did increase their budget offer, but it still falls significantly below the estimated costs the CCG received from several care agencies when researching costs of Mr Denderowicz’s home care.

Mathieu added: “By failing to offer an appropriate budget for Mr Denderowicz’s home care, we believe the CCG and preventing him from maintaining his family life, which is of paramount importance to him, by not permitting him to move home to live with his wife and children. We will be raising human right law arguments to help secure the care he needs.”

Mr Denderowicz’s situation has sparked national interest, with his story being covered numerous times on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme including a feature this week.

Before his injuries, Mr Denderowicz led an extremely active lifestyle, including walks in the Lake District, cycling and playing table tennis and badminton with his children.

Mr Denderowicz, who was a property developer before he fell ill on holiday, said: “My current situation is very distressing for not only me, but my wife and our four children as well. When we first discussed the idea of me moving home in March last year, the CCG got estimated costs from numerous agencies, so they were aware of the type of budget that was necessary.

“For them to do the research to get to the desired outcome of me moving home, and then offer me a significantly lower budget than is needed has left me feeling very frustrated and angry.

“I do not believe that their delay in achieving the outcome can be justified. That is why I have instructed Irwin Mitchell, so I can challenge their actions.” 

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Judicial Review claims.