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Written on 28th November 2022 by Julie Marsh

Boyes Turner’s amputation and diabetes claims specialists have secured a £1.3million settlement for a below-knee amputee whose infected foot injury was not referred to multidisciplinary foot care (MDFC). Our client suffered an amputation, stump pain, multiple surgical operations and a psychiatric injury after a GP practice nurse failed to follow national guidelines for treating diabetic foot wounds and refer him for multidisciplinary foot care.

Our client’s foot had signs of infection including pain, warmth, swelling and discharge, when he was seen by the nurse. His foot had been wounded the day before by stepping on glass but he had not felt it as he had reduced feeling in his foot from diabetes. NICE guidelines require patients with diabetes who suffer foot-care emergencies to be referred within 24 hours to a MDFC team. Instead, he was given antibiotics. Correct referral would have led to him being seen by the MDFC team and hospital admission for intravenous (IV) antibiotics. This would have prevented his sepsis and amputation. Within six days, despite a visit to A&E, his foot was black, painful, blistering and necrotic. He needed ambulance admission to hospital and below-knee amputation surgery.  

The defendant nurse vigorously denied responsibility for our client’s injury, but when the time came during the court proceedings to disclose their medical expert evidence, they were unable to produce any expert’s report to justify their defence of the claim.

You can read more about how we helped our client achieve a liability judgment against the nurse practitioner here.

Liability judgment and £175,000 interim payments

We obtained a liability judgment. Then the court proceedings were adjourned so that our client could try using a  specialist prosthesis (artificial limb). This helped us understand to what extent he would be able to use a prosthesis and to assess and value his needs for care, specialist equipment and suitable accommodation in future. During this time we obtained interim (advance) payments totalling £175,000 to ease our client’s financial hardship and pay for case management and carer support.

£1.3 million settlement more than doubled the NHS legal team’s valuation of our client’s compensation

Our client had multiple health conditions, including diabetes and stroke. The effect that these conditions would have had on his health and lifestyle even if he had been treated correctly had to be taken into account when valuing the claim. The defendant’s legal team tried to reduce our client’s claim for future prosthetics, care and accommodation costs arising from the negligence by arguing that our client would have suffered foot drop and had amputations to both lower limbs within a few years in any event. They also argued that our client’s compensation should be discounted (reduced by a percentage) for‘contributory negligence’ because he delayed seeking medical help for his deteriorating condition.

Despite these difficulties, we were able to negotiate a final £1.3 million compensation settlement which more than doubled the defendant’s NHS legal team's £500,000 valuation of our client’s claim. The settlement will help him pay for care, support and case management, and enable him to move from his third floor flat to more accessible accommodation.

If you have suffered severe disability as a result of medical negligence, or have been contacted by HSIB, HSSIB, MNSI or NHS Resolution, you can talk to one of our specialist solicitors, free and confidentially, to find out more  about how we can help you make a claim by contacting us at