Missed hip fracture leading to permanent confinement to wheelchair

We acted for an elderly lady who suffered a fall whilst in hospital. She suffered a hip fracture (neck of femur) and a wrist injury (damage to the radial nerve). The hospital negligently failed to manage the wrist injury and failed to spot the hip fracture for over four months, despite continual complaints in the medical notes of pain which should have alerted the staff. In pain and unable to mobilise, this lady became bedbound and lost all her independence.

She suffered from pressure sores and pneumonia. The hip fracture was eventually identified but the operation was performed too late, leaving her permanently confined to a wheelchair. Due to mismanagement of her wrist injury, she was left with a stiff and poorly functioning wrist.

The hospital trust admitted that they should have spotted the hip fracture earlier but denied that it would have made any difference, blaming frailty and age on the lady’s downfall. They also denied mismanagement of the wrist injury. This matter was complex due to the lady’s age and pre-existing medical issues, requiring input from five different experts. Several low offers of settlement from the Trust were rejected and court proceedings were issued.

Our client sadly passed away on 31 May 2016 and we continued to fight the case on behalf of her estate and for her widower, ultimately achieving settlement shortly after a full defence was filed.

Both Caroline Flashman and Natalie Hirst were very thorough in their investigations and very efficient and competent in presenting the facts of the case to the Defendant. They also obtained expert opinion from several medical and physiotherapy personnel and advice was given by a very competent barrister. I owe all a debt of gratitude.


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Our team of specialist medical negligence lawyers has been hand-picked for their specific skills and technical competence in the area of medical negligence claims. Reaching a successful outcome demands not only expert medical negligence law knowledge but also an understanding of how the NHS and medical defence organisations arrive at settlement decisions.