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Archie’s story: £10,000 Compensation for Negligent Treatment of Finger Fracture

Our Client, Archie*, obtained £10,000 damages from Medway NHS Foundation Trust after it admitted that it had failed to provide the Claimant with competent treatment for a fracture to his finger.

Our specialist solicitor, John Lowther, obtained copies of the relevant medical records from Archie’s GP, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.  He then obtained independent expert medical evidence for a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.

The independent medical expert consulted advised that Archie had received substandard treatment that had led to his suffering a more prolonged period of pain and discomfort, the discomfort of an open operation.  His recovery had reportedly been delayed by six months.

 Our John Lowther liaised with Archie and, on his instruction, provided the Defendant Trust with a Letter of Claim detailing his allegations.  The Defendant Trust admitted the allegations. An out of court settlement was promptly agreed.

It had transpired that when Archie met with Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Orthopaedic Surgeon in the fracture clinic, only one week after the initial injury,  it was clear that the fracture:

  • Was intra-articular – which is relevant as such fractures can lead to joint degeneration, especially if they are allowed to heal in non-anatomic position;
  • Site and orientation indicated that it was very unstable and almost certain to displace further, leading to increased angulation deformity;
  • Condyle fragment was quite small, rendering internal fixation difficult.

 In the circumstances, the decision on the part of Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Orthopaedic Surgeon to attempt non-operative treatment amounted to substandard treatment and was a Breach of the Trust’s Duty of care.  Seemingly, the fracture should have been treated with a percutaneous technique, using a small K-wire to reduce the fracture, together with manipulation of the finger, and then using the same K-wire to advance into the main bone fragment to secure fixation.

Had the Claimant received competent treatment, it is alleged that normal hand function would have returned within around two months of treatment. As he did not receive competent treatment, it is alleged that he had a delayed referral to a hand surgeon and had to undergo an open operation for osteotomy.

Inappropriate and delayed orthopaedic treatment can have serious consequences.  It can result in financial hardship, losses and expenses.  It is important that those who have suffered as a consequence of substandard medical treatment are properly compensated. 

Such Claims may involve investigation of complicated issues or it may be possible to arrange relatively swift investigation and resolution.

Representation by a specialist in Clinical Negligence Litigation can be very important to those who have suffered as a result of medical treatment.  In this case, Archie was able to obtain an apology from the Trust along with financial compensation.  His case was settled relatively quickly, without his needing to go to Court.  His representation was funded by means of a ‘No win, No fee’ agreement.

If, like Archie, you are concerned that you have suffered as a result of negligent orthopaedic surgery, it is important that you obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact John Lowther by email at jlowther@longdens.co.uk or call us on 0191 5666 500. Alternatively, fill in our short enquiry form and one of our specialist solicitors will be in touch.

*A pseudonym used to protect the identify of our Clients

 

 

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