Mr RX sustained a fracture to his right ankle when he slipped and fell. He attended the Medway Maritime Hospital and his leg was placed in a plaster of Paris cast. Unfortunately, the cast used was not suitable for Mr RX, who is an insulin dependent diabetic. He was also given inadequate advice on managing his injury.
Our client subsequently developed pressure ulcers, infections, and Charcot neuropathy, caused by the poorly fitting and inadequately padded cast.
On reattending Medway Hospital, Mr RX underwent a number of procedures over many months including debridement of the foot, antibiotics, VAC dressing and lava treatment. The fracture failed to unite, and the client underwent a hindfoot fusion procedure. The metalwork inserted during the hindfoot fusion procedure subsequently failed and the surgical pin was found snapped. During this time, Mr RX suffered with ongoing pain and was unable to work as he did prior to the injury.
After months of protracted treatment, Mr RX paid to see an orthopaedic surgeon privately, who agreed to treat him as an NHS patient. By this stage the ankle was in a very serious condition. Treatment options were to attempt further surgery to save the limb or to go straight to a below knee amputation. Sadly, despite salvage surgery, the right foot deteriorated and the client underwent a right below knee amputation.
As part of Sue’s investigation into the claim, advice was sought from the following experts: an orthopaedic surgeon to guide us on how the client’s fracture should have been treated and why the care he received was below acceptable standards; a rehabilitation expert to advise on our client’s future needs; a care expert; an accommodation expert; a prosthesis expert; a diabetes expert and a psychiatry expert to comment on the psychological consequences of the injury.
A Letter of Claim was served on Medway NHS Foundation Trust who denied liability. They alleged that the complications experienced by our client were due to intrinsic risk factors caused by his diabetes, rather than any negligent treatment they provided.
Notwithstanding their denials, which were maintained throughout the claim, Medway NHS Foundation Trust eventually agreed to settle the claim in the sum of £950,000.
Mr RX was delighted with the result, which will help him to move to alternative accommodation and cover any future costs associated with the amputation.