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There are over 23 million* (NHS Digital figures for 2017/2018) attendances at Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in England every year.

Whilst treatment provided in A&E departments is usually of an excellent standard, errors are sometimes made which cause serious injury to the patient. When this happens, patients have a right to claim compensation. 

At Boyes Turner we are experienced in dealing with claims for injuries caused by accident and emergency negligence.

What types of injury can Boyes Turner help you claim compensation for?

People are already ill or injured when they go to A&E, but correct A&E care can heal treatable conditions, or prevent deterioration and reduce avoidable, long-term harm.

Where negligent delay or incorrect medical treatment leaves the patient with additional serious injury or disability which was avoidable with correct care, the patient can claim compensation for the additional injury.

Avoidable injuries which lead to claims after negligent A&E treatment include:

  • amputation;
  • brain injury and permanent disability;
  • paralysis, e.g. paraplegia, tetraplegia, hemiplegia;
  • damage to vital organs;
  • long-term disability;
  • death.

What is accident and emergency (A&E)?

A&E is the name commonly given to the department of a hospital which provides emergency treatment for people who have been seriously injured in an accident or who are seriously ill.  This area of a hospital is sometimes known as ‘casualty’.

A&E departments are usually open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Patients may arrive by ambulance or make their own way to A&E without the need for a GP referral or hospital appointment.

Part of the A&E staff team’s job is to assess quickly which patients should be prioritised for treatment, depending on their injury. The process of deciding who gets priority is known as triage. Patients are then assessed by a doctor or nurse and may be referred for further investigations, such as x-rays and scans, or for review or treatment by a specialist. They may be admitted to hospital for urgent treatment, referred to another hospital or a GP, given an appointment to attend a clinic at a later date, or simply sent home (discharged).

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What types of A&E errors can you claim compensation for?

Many A&E compensation claims arise from errors made during triage prioritising who gets urgent treatment and initial assessment, including:

  • failure to recognise warning signs (red flag symptoms) or diagnose a serious condition;
  • delayed or misdiagnosis;
  • failing to ask a specialist in a particular condition to review the patient;
  • failure to investigate a serious condition properly, by carrying out x-rays, scans or other tests;
  • misinterpreting the results of investigations;
  • failing to examine the patient properly resulting in a misdiagnosis;
  • delay or failure to treat an emergency condition urgently, e.g. with antibiotics or surgery;
  • failing to admit a patient who needs urgent treatment to hospital;
  • sending a patient home without proper treatment, referral or advice about what to do if their condition continues or gets worse.

Medical negligence claims can also arise from negligent ambulance/paramedic care.

The NHS says that the role of A&E is to deal with genuine, life-threatening emergencies, including:

  • loss of consciousness;
  • acute (starting suddenly) confusion and ongoing fits (seizures/convulsions);
  • chest pain;
  • breathing difficulties;
  • severe bleeding;
  • severe allergic reactions;
  • severe burns or scalds;
  • stroke;
  • major trauma (serious life-threatening or disabling injury), such as a head injury, spinal injury or multiple fractures from a fall or road traffic accident.

Not all life-threatening or disabling injuries are obvious from the way the patient looks without further investigation. Some are diagnosed from the patient’s history (their previous health), symptoms and the results of further tests or investigations. Mistakes can be made which cause serious injury and lifelong disability if the A&E team:

  • fail to ask the patient or their family about their medical history;
  • fail to examine the patient properly;
  • fail to order the correct tests and investigations (e.g. x-rays or blood tests);
  • fail to interpret investigation results properly.

Our experienced clinical negligence solicitors can help severely injured clients claim substantial compensation for A&E negligence in the treatment of:

  • sepsis;
  • meningitis;
  • cauda equina;
  • spinal injury;
  • head injury;
  • subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH);
  • subdural haemorrhage or haematoma (SDH);
  • aortic aneurysm;
  • stroke;
  • heart attack and other cardiac conditions;
  • ischaemia (restriction of blood flow);
  • DVT/embolism or blood clots;
  • anaphylaxis (a sudden, severe, life-threatening allergic reaction).
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Meet your team

Susan Brown

Partner

Richard Money-Kyrle

Partner

Julie Marsh

Senior associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Sita Soni

Associate - solicitor

Tara Byrne

Solicitor

Ben Ireland

Solicitor

Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Aimee Gaston

Trainee Solicitor

Nicky Melville

Professional support assistant

How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?

How to make a medical negligence claim?

How long do medical negligence claims take?

How to fund a medical negligence claim?

How can you prove medical negligence?
Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?
Will I need to go to court to claim medical negligence compensation?

A&E cases

Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Very Professional "

Boyes Turner helped me through one of the toughest times in my life. They were very professional whilst remaining friendly. At times the process was emotionally tough but they were very patient with me and went through everything with me until I understood it. I cannot recommend them enough. 

Boyes Turner Client

"We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough"

Words cannot express how grateful we are to Susan and her team for the level of commitment and dedication shown to our family during a time which would be difficult for anyone. Susan demonstrates a calm professional manner which helped us to feel at ease. Her level of knowledge has proven to be the best in the field and we fully recommend her to anyone seeking to investigate birth injury claims. You can be confident that Susan and her team will scrutinise the medical notes thoroughly and will keep you well informed throughout the process. We are very pleased with the outcome of our child’s case and know that her work has resulted in justice being achieved. Our family will now be able to move forward in the knowledge that the finances are securely in place for our child to receive a suitable care package, purchase equipment and receive necessary lifelong therapy. We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough.

Boyes Turner Client

"I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell"

I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell for the exceptional work that she has carried out on my behalf. She is knowledgeable, efficient and has great attention to detail.Fran has kept me informed throughout the entire process and has been a great support to me, always being at the end of the phone, or on an email, whenever I needed her. She truly wants the best for her client and is passionate about getting justice. Fran also has a kind and compassionate nature and takes her time to explain what is going on in a clear and simple way. This has been extremely helpful to me during a difficult time.It is certainly reassuring having such strong women behind me.

Boyes Turner Client

"The journey with Julie was interesting! "

From a speculative inquiry to a life changing award, the journey with Julie Marsh was interesting. Julie kept me informed along the way explaining exactly what was going on and more importantly why. The team that was assembled certainly knew their stuff which meant I got all the necessary support to keep going. Thank you all. 

Kevin Ridsdale

"Successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation"

Boyes Turner staff were always helpful and quick to respond. Communicating from the other side of the world presented no problems. Boyes Turner secured generous early interim payments that allowed me to continue my (non-funded) medical treatment that otherwise I could never have afforded. My Boyes Turner solicitor successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation and continuation of funding for future medical treatment and associated costs giving me great peace of mind. Thank you so much Annabelle! I would recommend Boyes Turner solicitors. They are professional, courteous and helpful. 

Brian