Substantial compensation awarded following alleged delay in diagnosis and treatment of encephalitis

Mr X aged 77 and a retired carpenter/joiner had been active, fit, and mobile and without medical problems became becoming confused and disorientated one day in October 2000.

He was admitted to Neville Hospital Abergavenny and was the subsequently discharged to a nursing home at the end of November 2000, approximately 6 weeks after admission.

Mr X’s son was informed that his father had a virus called Herpes Simplex Encephalitis (HSE) and that during the course of the infection his brain had become damaged and he would not be in a fit state to live unaided, so the hospital social worker advised Mr X’s son to look for a local nursing home and he would be self-financing. Mr X’s son had some concerns about the length of time it took the hospital to diagnose HSE and commence intravenous Acyclovir, the medicine required to treated it.

Mr X’s father stayed in 2 nursing homes in Chepstow and Brynmawr, both privately funded through monthly payments. During the latter part of Mr X’s care it became apparent that his home would have to be sold to cover the rising cost of his care as he did not qualify for continued health care.

After the property was sold, Mr X’s son started to make enquiries about the treatment his father received following his admission to hospital.

The first firm of solicitors instructed by Mr X’s son closed the case after an assessment of the litigation risk, which was deemed too high.

Still undeterred Mr X’s son contacted a charity called the Encephalitis Society and they put him in touch with Tim Spring at Moore Blatch LLP who agreed to take the case on.

He and his colleague, Mr Sarmad Gassoub, both experienced clinical negligence solicitors, re- investigated the case with Mr Gassoub taking time to visit Mr X’s son at home and gather witness statements as part of this process. Court proceedings were issued and a negotiated settlement was eventually agreed with the hospital, which resulted in Mr X’s Estate recovering a substantial compensation award.

Mr X’s son said:

‘I believe that without Moore Blatch LLP’s in-depth knowledge of this type of virus, and their medical knowledge and legal expertise, my father’s case would have been left on the shelf. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved with my gratitude and thanks’.