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September 23rd 2013

Hull

Susan’s experience of medical negligence

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson

Head of Inquest Services Group & Senior Solicitor

Susan’s experience of medical negligence

In October 2009, Sue, who was then 52, suffered a fall which injured her right foot. The following day the swelling was so bad that she was unable to walk and she sought advice at Selby War Memorial Hospital. At the hospital Sue’s foot was x-rayed and she was assured that her foot was not broken. For over a week Sue endured foot pain before returning to the hospital for further help. In the meantime, her original x-ray had been reviewed at York hospital and a fracture to her little toe was identified. Unfortunately, no-one at Selby Hospital told their patient about this x-ray review, or the break in her toe. Instead she was given a two week sick note for an ankle injury.

In October 2009, Sue, who was then 52, suffered a fall which injured her right foot. The following day the swelling was so bad that she was unable to walk and she sought advice at Selby War Memorial Hospital. At the hospital Sue’s foot was x-rayed and she was assured that her foot was not broken.

For over a week Sue endured foot pain before returning to the hospital for further help. In the meantime, her original x-ray had been reviewed at York hospital and a fracture to her little toe was identified. Unfortunately, no-one at Selby Hospital told their patient about this x-ray review, or the break in her toe. Instead she was given a two week sick note for an ankle injury.

The foot pain continued and so Sue visited her GP on October 28th and again on November 10th, a month after her original fall. It was on November 10th that her GP told her that she had a fracture to her little toe. Two weeks after learning from her GP that she had a break in her toe, the pain had still not abated and walking was difficult, therefore the GP recommended a second x-ray. This x-ray report showed a clear right fifth metatarsal break with little sign of healing.

In early December the hospital informed her that the bone was failing to heal and so put her in a cast below the knee, they recognised that she had been hobbling around with a broken toe for six weeks and that the diagnosis had been missed on the original x-ray . A slipper cast and proper immobilisation followed a week later.

At last, in January some improvement in the bone was noted and in March Sue was able to report a reduction in pain. However, concerns remained over the union of the broken bone and it was agreed that bone stimulator treatment would be considered at the next consultation. In April, five months after the original accident and missed-diagnosis, Sue started treatment with a bone stimulator to aid the healing process.

Sue has ongoing pain as a direct result of the delay of diagnosis. It is hoped that this pain will improve, but it is likely that she will continue to suffer mild foot discomfort in the future if she walks for more than 20 minutes.

After seeing a TV advertisement, Sue contacted Neil Hudgell Solicitors and they took up a claim for negligence against the hospital on her behalf. It was clear that there had been a two month delay in Mrs Reader receiving the correct treatment and this had caused her bone to heal more slowly than normal, and the level of pain and discomfort that followed was also a result of the delay.

By September of 2011, the Hospital admitted liability and Neil Hudgell Solicitors were able to negotiate a settlement for Sue.

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