The Gloucester Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined £1.1 million along with an annual, inflation-linked payment of £240,000 after a woman patient was left with devastating brain injuries as a result of medical negligence.
The High Court in London heard how the woman – who has not been named – was admitted to hospital suffering from severe headaches. She was kept in overnight but doctors failed to notice that she was suffering from Viral Encephalitis; a very serious brain infection, and she was sent home. The following morning she was re-admitted as an emergency, but even then doctors failed to prescribe her the correct drugs and it was a further 48 hours before the appropriate treatment was administered.
As a result of the brain damage she suffered during that critical initial period, she now suffers from acute amnesia and according to her barrister, now effectively lives in a world of her own.
The Gloucester Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability for the woman’s injuries and has issued a public apology. The Judge for the case; Sir Ian Dove, said: “Money can never fully correct what has happened to the claimant in this case, but unfortunately it is the best that the law can do. She will be now be comfortable and secure for the remainder of her life. She will be able to stay in her own home and to have carers around her so that she can live the fullest life she can.”
A statement from the hospitals trust said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to the patient and her family and recognise the profound effect that the delay to providing appropriate treatment will have on all of them now and in the future. It has taken some time for both parties to determine and reach agreement on the appropriate amount of damages due, but we are very pleased that this claim has now reached resolution. We have worked hard to ensure that the damages the patient has received will meet all her future needs. We would like to reiterate our apologies for these failings and can assure the patient and her family that important lessons have been learned from this case.”
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