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Written on 27th May 2022 by Julie Marsh

Boyes Turner’s amputation claims lawyers have secured a £750,000 settlement for a woman in her sixties who needs a below-knee amputation after her GP and the district nurses repeatedly failed to refer her to the hospital for treatment of a post-surgical ankle infection. 

The compensation settlement, which represented a potential settlement of £1m on full valuation, followed a 75% liability judgment in the complex and strongly defended case and was obtained despite our client’s multiple additional health conditions and shortened expected lifespan.  

We obtained interim (advance) payments for our client, totalling £500,000, whilst the claim was ongoing. These enabled her to buy and start adapting a property, so that she can live in a more suitable home after she has had her amputation.

GP and district nurses failed to refer our client back to hospital for treatment of post-surgical infection

Our client consulted her GP after she developed swelling in her ankle, green pus and pain (signs of infection) after surgery on her ankle. Her recent surgery and previous medical problems meant that she was at risk of septic arthritis (infection in the joint). Instead of examining the operation wound and referring her back to hospital for review by an orthopaedic surgeon, her doctor arranged for a district nurse to re-dress the wound later that day. At the nurse’s request, antibiotics were prescribed, but our client suffered worsening signs of infection.

The district nurse re-dressed her wound a further three times over the following days, but failed to refer her back to her GP or to a tissue viability nurse. Our client’s antibiotics were changed after our client called her GP to say she was no better after the fourth district nurse appointment. She went to the hospital two days later and was finally diagnosed with septic arthritis.

The delay in referral and treatment for the post-surgical infection caused permanent damage to our client’s ankle. She needed multiple surgical procedures to stabilise the ankle and eradicate the infection. If she received correct treatment from her GP  and the district nurses and had been referred back to hospital when she presented with signs of post-surgical infection, her infection would have been treated, further surgery would not have been needed, and she would still be able to walk on the ankle.

Our client remains in pain and is unable to use the permanently dislocated ankle, which is a serious risk to her health.  The settlement will enable our client to go ahead with private therapies, amputation surgery and specialist prosthetic care, and move into her newly adapted accommodation.

If you would like more information, you can read Eileen's story.

If you have suffered severe disability as a result of negligent medical care, you can talk to one of our specialist solicitors, free and confidentially, to find out more about making a claim, by contacting us here