Solicitor, Clinical Negligence
Sarah handles a wide range of clinical negligence claims including delays in diagnosing and treating cancer, orthopedic errors, GP negligence, surgical errors and basic nursing errors.
She has experience in supporting clients who have suffered brain injuries and people who have needed amputations due to medical negligence. Sarah has also supported clients who have suffered severe psychological injuries due to the impact of mistakes made in their treatment.
Sarah, who is from Beverley, East Yorkshire, has worked her way through the ranks at Hudgell Solicitors, and became the youngest fully qualified solicitor at the firm at the time when she graduated through law school and secured her practicing certificate from the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2016, having being given a training contract with the firm. She has practised in clinical negligence ever since qualifying in 2016.
I am passionate about this area of law and getting my clients answers as to why failings in their care and treatment happened, as even a small medical error can impact on a person’s quality of life, as well as the lives of their loved ones, physically, emotionally, socially and financially.
Most of the time the NHS does a tremendous job, but equally, when mistakes are made that leave patients with significant, life-changing injures, they deserve to be adequately compensated.
Our involvement also crucially highlights areas where improvements and changes need to be made to prevent more avoidable suffering, and many cases make a difference to policies and procedures to better protect future patients.
Often, for the clients we serve, financial compensation is not the main motivating factor. They want admissions of errors and an apology.
I am here to advise, support and help people as they look to return to a life which is as close as possible to how it would have been before the negligent treatment happened.
As well as the legal advice, I also believe providing emotional support to clients to help them through is a big part of my job.
Every case which results in a successful settlement is significant for the people I represent, but of the cases I have handled one in which a patient died prematurely because of a delay in diagnosing and treating their cancer stands out. The case settled for £85,000, but the money was not the important aspect as the family could not get their loved one back. Those years together were taken from them. The legal case did highlight life-costing errors though and it is to be hoped that similar mistakes will be avoided by those involved at that particular trust in the future as a result.
I have also represented two families in cases where quite elderly patients have suffered falls in hospital which should have been avoided by having proper care plans in place. In one of the cases it was admitted that the patient’s fall had contributed to their death two weeks later of sepsis, whilst in the other case the patient suffered a break to their when falling shortly after hip replacement surgery.
In both of these cases it was frustrating because basic errors led to these injuries, and such injuries for elderly patients can lead to complications which they never recover from.
I also represented a lady who had to have a leg amputated after a basic surgical error and was very pleased to be able to secure her a substantial damages settlement.
Career, qualifications and memberships
- 1st class honours degree, LLB: Law and Professional Practice
- Legal Practice Course (Distinction)
- Qualified as a solicitor in September 2016
"I think it is appalling that my dad fell within an hour of being admitted to the emergency assessment ward. I’d told people in A&E that he had a history of falls, and had even recently been seen at the Falls Unit at the same hospital. His legs simply weren’t strong enough and often would just collapse under him."