Compensation for an eight-year delay in receiving treatment for haemochromatosis

Mr M suffered a delay in the treatment of his hereditary haemochromatosis (HH), a condition which leads to excess iron levels being deposited throughout the body which (without treatment) can cause damage to various organs and joints.

He was correctly tested for HH in 2009 as a result of abnormal liver function tests. The tests confirmed he was suffering from HH, but his gastroenterologist failed to communicate the diagnosis to Mr M or to his GP. Due to appointment rescheduling and cancellations, Mr M was lost to follow-up. As a result, his diagnosis only came to light in 2017 when he presented unwell to his GP. This meant there was an eight-year delay in receiving appropriate treatment, over which time he had developed pancreatogenic diabetes, cirrhotic liver disease and hypogonadism which have also led to a reduction in his life expectancy. Expert evidence confirmed that all these conditions were avoidable had treatment been started shortly after diagnosis in 2009, and each will now require life-long treatment and monitoring for complications.

A claim was brought against the Defendant Trust and negligence was subsequently admitted and the matter settled for a six-figure sum. We are pleased that our client has received appropriate compensation for the harm he has suffered. It was also important to Mr M to know that lessons have been learned from the mistakes in his care to improve safety for other patients going forward.

The Trust’s internal investigation into the systemic failings in this case resulted in the review of current practice, and it was clear that there was no consistent approach for the communication of positive or negative test results. It was recommended that a process of communication of test results be created and we hope to receive confirmation from the Trust shortly that all recommendations made have been implemented.

I want to record my sincere appreciation for the outstanding professional skill and dedication shown by Denise in securing a successful outcome to my clinical negligence claim.
From the outset, Denise was assiduous and meticulous in her approach. Her absolute command of the detail underlying my claim was consistent throughout the process.

Her communication skills are excellent. Whether written or verbal, her advice and observations were invariably clear, unambiguous and timely. As a client I always felt fully engaged in the process rather than a passive participant.

Denise’s interpersonal skills are exemplary – putting the client firmly at the heart of everything she does and demonstrating a genuine empathy and natural rapport, making what can be a stressful experience so much easier to handle. She was a constant source of support and reassurance for me.

Self-evidently committed first and foremost to her client’s cause, as a former NHS Executive Director I was impressed by Denise’s broader determination to improve Patient Safety – ensuring that the lessons learned from clinical and system failures were acted upon and embedded in the organisation to prevent any possibility of recurrence in the future.

Given the attributes described, it follows that I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Denise as a lawyer whose professional knowledge, competence and effectiveness are unquestionably of the first order

Mr M said

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