Amputation claims news

 

Funding for child prosthetics

In March 2018 the government announced that they will be renewing their £1.5m pledge to provide sports prosthetic limbs for children. The Department of Health initially made the funding available in the wake of the 2016 Paralympics with the Secretary of State for Health affirming his belief that every child should be able to participate in sport. Since then, over 200 children have been granted government funded specialist sports prostheses under the scheme.

There are currently an estimated 2,000 children in the UK who are without limbs, for a variety of reasons. Some are born with congenital deformities, and some suffer amputations as a result of deadly, but often treatable, conditions, such as meningitis and septicaemia.  

Amputation, or in some cases, multiple amputations, can have a profound impact on a child. Their challenges will continue throughout their lives as they undergo regular bone trimming operations as their body continues to grow and change. Keeping up physically with school, coping with the difficulties of social integration with able bodied peers, adjusting to more independent living at university and entering the world of work will all bring new demands and challenges. Day to day pain or blistering at the amputation stump site from their prosthetic limb will add further strain. They will probably need psychological support. In addition to the physical difficulties that they will face with mobility and independence, they will also incur increased costs.

An effective prosthesis for a child can help them to feel confident returning to school, enabling them to continue with their education, interact with their peers in the classroom and the playground and, with the help of specialist sports prosthetics, such as running blades, they can participate on the sports field.

The specialist injury team at Boyes Turner are experienced in helping individuals who have experienced avoidable limb loss. We understand the need for early rehabilitation, physical and psychological support, and the importance of good prosthetic provision, for people of all ages. We are experts at achieving high value compensation awards which ensure that our clients’ needs are properly met. Our education colleagues work closely with our younger amputee clients and their families to ensure that appropriate therapy provision and support in school is in place to help the disabled child get back on their feet and reach their goals.

We appreciate that not everyone who has experienced limb loss has a claim for compensation and welcome the news that government funding will continue for specialist sports prostheses for amputee children to enable them to participate fully in society.

If you are caring for a child who has suffered an amputation as a result of negligence we might be able to help contact our specialist solicitors on mednegclaims@boyesturner.com.

Is the Boyes Turner personal injury team right for you?

When someone has suffered a personal injury it is essential that they pick the right solicitor to assist them with their claim.

Carefully selecting the correct solicitor will ensure that you have:

  1. Access to up to date legal advice.
  2. Advice from a large network of specialists that we work with, such as medical experts, barristers, financial and welfare benefit advisors, employment and educational experts, housing and conveyancing specialists, and more.
  3. Access to specialist care and rehabilitation providers to assist you in your recovery journey.
  4. A speedy conclusion of your claim.
  5. Peace of mind that you will receive the compensation you need to secure your future.

No two claims are the same, even if the injuries are similar or if they were injured in the same accident. Thankfully Boyes Turner’s team of dedicated personal injury specialists are able to advise on all types of personal injury claims from minor injuries right through to life changing injuries such as brain injuries, spinal injuries and amputations.

Below we give you a quick introduction to the partners in the team and the specialisms they hold.

Kim Smerdon

Kim Smerdon leads Boyes Turner’s highly regarded personal injury team. A specialist in catastrophic injury cases, Kim acts for clients with acquired brain damage, spinal injuries and serious orthopaedic injuries.

Kim has extensive experience of all types of personal injury cases and has acted for clients who have been injured in road traffic accidents, in the workplace, as a result of defective products and criminal injuries.

A keen charity fundraiser, Kim recently completed the 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours to raise over £35,000 for The Debbie Fund, a charity set up to raise funds for research into cervical cancer.

Kim is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel and an accredited senior litigator and brain injury specialist with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). She is an associate member of the Child Brain Injury Trust, and a member of the Brain Injury Social Work Group, Headway and Spinal Injuries Panel Solicitors. She is a Headway Life Member, a trustee of Headway Thames Valley and trustee of the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, a charity committed to saving young people’s lives by promoting safer cycling and benefits of using a cycle helmet. 

Claire Roantree

As a partner in Boyes Turner’s highly regarded personal injury team, Claire acts for clients with life-changing injuries, such as mild to very severe brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, severe burns, complex orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injury, chronic pain and PTSD. 

Claire works closely with the defendant insurers, using the Rehabilitation Code and securing interim payments to provide her injured clients with the treatment, care, facilities and support that they need to get their rehabilitation underway straight away, without losing valuable recovery time whilst waiting for final settlement at the conclusion of the claim. Working with experts in a variety of medical and therapeutic disciplines, professional case managers and carers, the client’s immediate needs are prioritised – recovery and rehabilitation – whilst the claim is quantified to make maximum provision  for their future needs for ongoing care, support and financial security.

A keen charity supporter and fundraiser she has used her love of running and walking to fundraise for The Children's Trust, Tadworth. She has run events for Headway SW London for whom she was a trustee for six years. She is a trustee for Cycle Smart and supports the charity’s campaign to raise cycling safety awareness and reduce road traffic accidents. 

Claire is a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel, APIL (Brain Injury Specialist Interest Group), Headway and ABIL (Acquired Brain Injury across London).

As you can see there is no type of claim that the team cannot handle and together they are confident that they can assist you in achieving the best recovery possible as well as the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you would like to speak to our specialist personal injury team please do not hesitate to contact us for a free no obligation advice by email piclaims@boyesturner.com.

Local amputee and children's charities to bring hope to disabled Romanian children

Local charities have created a unique partnership that will see life-changing artificial limbs and wheelchairs transported from South-east England to help many amputee kids in Romania who have little hope of receiving a prosthesis which will change their lives.

Farnborough-based Limbcare, a group that provides peer support to limb-impaired individuals and communities and which is committed to recycling and reusing prosthesis, is joining forces with Kent charity Bless The Children (UK), to send this equipment to their long-term partner ‘FundatiaTheranova’ in Oradea, Romania.

Led by Chairman Ray Edwards MBE, the UK’s longest-surviving quad amputee, Limbcare has been able to collect a large number of used prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and walking aids through its work with local hospitals since it was founded in 2010.

We, helped bring about the encounter between Ray and Bless The Children (UK)’s Carol Marsh that led to the idea that these limbs and wheelchairs, which were sitting unused, could be used to help to Fundatia Theranova to provide low-cost prostheses to their patients..

Limbcare’s Chairman Ray Edwards MBE said: “We are delighted and proud to help in this initiative which fits clearly with Limbcare’s mission towards creating greater independence for all amputees and limb impaired people, and helping individuals improve their quality of life.”

Bless The Children (UK)’s Carol Marsh added: “Words cannot express how much joy these limbs will bring to the young people we are helping in Romania. Many have little or no hope of regaining their mobility. This simple gesture will have a major impact on their immediate and later lives.”

Carol led a convoy of several cars and 4×4’s to Yateley, Hampshire, on Friday 10th November, to collect as many prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and walking aids as they could. These will then be packed and shipped by road to Romania later in November.

Claire Roantree, a partner at Boyes Turner, said: “The work that Ray and Carol are doing will change lives. We’re delighted to be able to help fund the transport that will get these limbs and wheelchairs quickly to the people who need them”.

Since 2001 Bless The Children (UK) has provided 33 limbs to children and young people and sent 10 kits to be assembled in Romania. Theranova not only custom-builds and fits prosthetic limbs but also provides a full support and follow-up programme.

 More information about the two charities:

·       Limbcare Limbcare was formed on 8th June 2010 by Ray Edwards MBE (the UK’s Longest surviving quad amputee), Alex Hyde-Smith, Roy Wright and Barry Perrin. To create empathy, not sympathy, to all amputees and the limb impaired. Limbcare has found that often redundant or unusable limbs are scrapped into landfill sites. They have arranged pick up facilities throughout the UK to bring these to their Recycling Centre in Camberley.
Parts are sent overseas for reuse, some specialised parts resold while others can be broken up for scrap metal to be recycled thereby creating money to be ploughed back into mentoring trainee prosthetists and technicians.

·       Bless The Children (UK) became a registered charity in January 1997. Its members have been working as volunteers in Romania since 1990.  In 1996 they took over the Darmanesti Day Centre to provide social and practical help to the elderly, poor families with disadvantaged children and individuals living in difficult circumstances in the small rural town of Darmanesti, North-East Romania.

Watch That’s Surrey TV’s interview with Limbcare and Bless the Children HERE.

London Prosthetics Centre Case Managers Event: The Amputee's Journey

On 3 November 2017, we have the pleasure of hosting the London Prosthetics Centre Case Managers Training day, focusing on amputation, at our office in Reading.

The training will encompass the journey of an amputee from surgery to full rehabilitation using prosthetics across medical and legal intervention to rehabilitation.

This is a not to miss event and places are going fast!

There is a great line up of speakers who will be:

·       Ella Dove, London Prosthetics Centre client and amputee

·       Mr Shehan Hettiaratchy,  Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Trauma lead and lead surgeon; consultant plastic, hand and reconstructive surgeon

·       Abdo Haidar, Consultant Prosthetist and Clinical Director of The London Prosthetic Centre

·       Dr Imad Sedki, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

·       Allyson Ballard, Clinical specialist occupational therapist

·       Dr Ian McCurdie, Consultant in rehabilitation medicine, Remedy Healthcare

·       David Sanderson, Barrister, 12 Kings Bench Walk

·       Deborah Bent, Charity manager – Limbless Association

A buffet lunch and refreshments will be provided.

How to book

To book your place and let us know of any dietary requirements, please email our events team.

How to pay

The cost for the day is £50 (9am start – 5pm finish).

·       Cheque: Send cheque to Hugh Steeper Ltd, Unit 20 Kingsmill Business Park, Chapel Mill Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 3GZ

·       Credit card: Call 0208 549 7010

·       BACS:
Sort code: 20-00-00
Account No: 10229652
Account Name: Hugh Steeper Ltd
IBAN No: GB67 BARC 20000010 2296 52Swift No: BARCGB22

The Rehabilitation Code 2015

When an individual suffers a personal injury one of their key concerns is how long it will take and what assistance they may need to achieve a full recovery. A slow recovery from a personal injury not only prolongs the pain but can also lead to psychological problems.

In many cases the injured person’s GP and hospital will provide advice and treatment to aid their recovery. However, NHS treatment may take a long time to receive, there may be cost restrictions on what assistance can be provided and the available NHS treatment may not fully provide for the injured person’s needs.

Recognising the need for injured persons to receive the correct rehabilitation advice, assistance and treatment, a number of specialist private organisations* formed a working party to find a solution to this problem. As a result of the working party’s efforts a Rehabilitation Code was published in 2007 and was revised in 2015.

The Rehabilitation Code states that its role:

“… is to restore the individual as much as possible to the position they were in before the accident.  The Code provides a framework for the claimant solicitor and compensator to work together to ensure that the claimant’s health, quality of life, independence and ability to work are restored …”

Description: The Rehabilitation Code 2015

The Rehabilitation Code is relied upon by Boyes Turner to ensure that defendants’ insurance companies do all they can to assist the injured claimant with their recovery as early as possible following an accident.

Our solicitors work with national rehabilitation providers, therapists and clinicians whose common goal is to ensure that clients receive the treatment, care and support they need to give them the best chance of regaining their independence and maximising their recovery to its fullest potential.

Rehabilitation can be far reaching and may not just involve medical treatment or therapy.

Many clients find that as a result of their injuries they can no longer do the job they used to do.  With the assistance of a vocational rehabilitation specialist, our clients have been able to identify new avenues of employment to help regain their sense of purpose. This might involve retraining or going back to further education according to the client’s needs.

Rehabilitation can include the provision of care, aids and equipment, mobility aids such as wheelchairs, adaptations to their home and vehicle. With the right help and support, an injured person can also return to the activities or sports they enjoyed before their accident.

Our network of specialist organisations and services enables us to ensure our clients receive the best possible treatment available to them, to increase their prospects of a making full recovery or returning to their pre-accident lifestyle, bringing closure and allowing them to move on.

Claire Roantree, Partner in the personal injury team at Boyes Turner, is dedicated to ensuring that rehabilitation plays a key part in the recovery of all of her clients who suffer serious or life changing injuries and says that,

“The severity of an injury should not necessarily determine an injured person’s long term outcome. With the right rehabilitation and support at the right time, an individual who has suffered a life changing injury has the potential to achieve new goals and live an independent life.”

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a personal injury and would like a free no obligation advice please call us on  0800 015 4613 or email PIClaims@boyesturner.com.

* The working party included representatives from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS).  Boyes Turner are members of both of these organisations as well as a number of other specialist organisations dedicated to assisting injured persons.

Meningococcal Septicaemia & Amputation

Having a child in hospital with meningitis, a life threatening illness is a frightening time for the whole family. From not knowing what the future holds, to finding out they will require amputations, the subsequent months can be an emotional rollercoaster. Support at times like this is vital. Charities like Meningitis Now and the Meningitis Research Foundation offer a great deal of information and support for families going through this disease.

Why might amputation be necessary after meningococcal septicaemia?

Amputation may be necessary in severe cases of meningococcal septicaemia.  Septicaemia is blood poisoning caused by bacteria multiplying in the blood. The body tries to fight the bacteria and the toxins released by it. The toxins attack the lining of blood vessels which can leak causing a rash, shown as purple areas of skin. Blood clots also form making it difficult for blood to carry oxygen to the body. When skin loses blood supply, it is starved of oxygen and it might blacken and eventually die. This predominantly affects the fingers, hands, toes and feet requiring amputation otherwise the dead tissue can become harmful to the body.

What treatment will my child get?

The priority in treating children with septicaemia is antibiotics. Time is of the essence. The longer the child is without antibiotics, the more the blood poisoning can spread resulting in further damage to the body. Once your child is medically stable, part of the treatment might be an attempt to treat the damaged tissue for it to heal. Areas of dead tissue might be cut away (debridement) or amputation might be required.

Medical treatment is not always provided in a timely manner. If a meningitis diagnosis is missed or treatment is delayed, the avoidable consequences can be catastrophic. As meningitis claims specialists we investigate concerns about meningitis medical care and whether injuries such as amputation could have been avoided.

If you would like to discuss any concerns about the medical care you or a loved one have received relating to meningitis, contact our specialist meningitis claims team for free and confidential advice on 0800 307 7620 or email mednegclaims@boyesturner.com

What happens after the amputation?

During the hospital stay, rehabilitation will be key to help mobilisation and independence. There will be a range of medical professionals looking after your child, which might include:

  • Plastic surgeon
  • Orthopaedic surgeon
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Pain specialist
  • Psychologist

Many of these professionals will continue to be involved in caring for your child after discharge from hospital.

Will my child be given prosthetic limb/s?

Many amputees use prosthetic limbs to help with daily living and mobility. Your child will be assessed to see if prosthetic limbs are suitable. This will depend on the amputation level, the recovery and whether there are any other amputations or disabilities. It will also depend on any skin scarring from the septicaemia.

Prosthetic limbs can help amputees rebuild their lives and get back to day to day activities. It takes time however for any amputee to learn to use their new limbs and there will need to be follow up assessments with the prosthetist. Prosthetic limbs will need to be replaced as your child grows.

When will my child be able to return to school?

It is important for children to return to school as soon as they are well enough and if it is safe for them to do so. The school will need to take into account your child’s amputation and accessibility needs. The school might need to help with arranging a learning support assistance, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, getting from class to class or taking notes if the child is not able to hold a pen.

Parallel London 2017

On Sunday 3 September 2017, Parallel London takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This will be the second year the event has taken place. 

Parallel London is a fully accessible fun run and free family festival.

People of all ages and abilities can take part in the races which vary from 10k, 5k, 1k, 100m and there is also a supersensory 1k run. There are no cut-off times, and everybody of every ability will be taking part side by side.

The History

Parallel London is the brainchild of Andrew Douglass, who at last year’s event, told the media:

“… It is surprising that so many disabled people who want to lead more active lives still face so many barriers accessing the facilities to do so. The long term vision for Parallel London is that it will grow into a major annual fixture in the national event calendar that will encourage more active lifestyles and fitness, regardless of ability, create significant new fundraising opportunities for charities of all sizes and positively change public attitudes towards disability and impairment.”

Parallel team

This year, Julie Marsh from Boyes Turner’s Medical Negligence team will be joining a team from the charity Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope, in competing at Parallel London.

Parallel London Elizabeth Legacy of Hope

Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope provide life-changing support for children who have lost their limbs through war, accidents and lack of access to medical care and works predominantly with young amputees in developing countries.

Julie is really pleased to be able to join the team from Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope at Parallel London, and support such a great charity and such an important event and that Jamie Gillespie and Kat from PACE Rehab will also be joining the team.

Parallel London - PACE Rehabilitation

She says:

“I am just hoping that I won’t be asked to run the 10k race! I am really looking forward to exploring the family festival with my husband and two children, and think the sensory 1k race is going to be a hit with them. It is so important that everyone has access to sport and to all society has to offer, no matter whether they are physically or otherwise considered “disabled”. Nobody should be singled out as unable to participate because of a disability.  It’s an important lesson to teach our children, and to remind the world of, and that is what Parallel strives to do.”

If you would like to make a donation in support of the charity, and support Julie’s running efforts please see the fundraising page here.

Parallel London with Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope

On 3 September, the world’s first fully inclusive mass participation event, Parallel London, is taking place. It celebrates people of all abilities and ages. This year Boyes Turner will be joining Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope to support child amputees in developing countries.

Parallel London is a truly fantastic event, located at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It has various distances including a 10km, 5km, 1km and 100m which you can run, push or walk. There’s also a free family festival with music performances, workshops, food & drinks, and much more – plenty of fun and something for everyone!

Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope

ELoH was set up by twins Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon after a tragic bus crash that left Sarah’s two-year-old daughter with an amputated leg. The family was devastated by the events. Sarah’s daughter was fortunate to receive some of the best care in the world enabling her to walk, go to school and play with her friends. Yet, when Sarah and Victoria began to read about the situation of child amputees globally they found that most child amputees receive little or no care at all. 90% would never receive prosthetics or go to school. Many child amputees in developing countries live very lonely and isolated lives, with little prospect of a better future. That’s why Sarah and Victoria founded ELoH to support these children and give them a better future.

ELoH helps children access prosthetics, vital surgeries, education and emotional support. They also have a programme to support the families through business grants.

Boyes Turner joins ELoH

This year Boyes Turner will be taking part in Parallel London with ELoH. Although our client base is England and Wales, we are very happy to support ELoH with their campaign and raise awareness of the limited prospects for child amputees in developing countries. Every child amputee should be able to access to care and support no matter where they reside.

How you can help

ELoH says 

“we are a small charity and we value each and everyone who goes the extra mile for the children in our projects.”

Dorset Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Conference

It was fascinating to hear Dr Norbert Kang, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Royal Free Hospital, talk about Targeted Muscle Reinnervation at Dorset Orthopaedics Training Day this spring.

TMR is a surgical procedure used to improve the control of upper limb prostheses. This is a procedure where residual nerves in muscles of an amputated limb which has lost its function, are transferred into another muscle to reinnervate new muscle targets.

Dr Kang described how surgeons take stumps of nerves in muscles then reattach and use the muscles as an interface and amplifier of the amputated nerve motor signals. This allows for better control of prosthetic arms.

Once patients have undergone TMR surgery, they are fitted with advanced pattern-recognition myoelectric prosthesis. The aim of TMR is to improve control and function by more subconscious and flowing movement, in transhumeral (above elbow) and glenohumeral (above shoulder) amputees.

Dr Kang stated that in many of his patients, the surgery has eradicated or reduced pain by removing painful neuromas which can cause phantom limb pain or neuroma pain, usually within 6-12 months of surgery.

TMR is carried out on the NHS under the “reconstructive surgery” tariff in order to achieve pain relief with or without follow up rehabilitation. However, if the aim of surgery is to achieve better control of the upper limb prosthesis, once pain is controlled after surgery, patients must commit to a rehabilitation process which can be time consuming and labour intensive.

It is recommended that patients practice for between 4-5 hours a day using visual and memory to control movement in order to calibrate new muscle movement with that of their normal arm.  Once they are able to calibrate movement with the unaffected limb, the prosthetic limb can be fitted with the use of a harness with a control panel.

It is good to know that TMR surgery could be done under the NHS to relieve pain, particularly if you have a client in pain and a defendant who does not admit of liability and will not agree to adopt the Rehabilitation Code and provide rehab funding.  If or when funding does become available, Dr Kang stated that rehabilitation with the prosthetic limb can be carried out at a later stage in any event.

If the whole procedure is carried out on a private basis, Dr Kang recommended that a multi-disciplinary team approach be adopted to include the surgeon, Prosthetist and Pain specialist.

I am always fascinated to learn of the advances made at the amputation conferences that we attend. Many clients complain about pain after traumatic or elective amputation.  The current surgical procedures that are available will come as welcome news to those who suffer intolerable pain due to neuromas or phantom limb pain.

Boyes Turner's visit to the London Prosthetic Centre

Claire Roantree of the personal injury team and Sita Soni of Boyes Turner’s medical negligence team recently visited the London Prosthetic Centre in Kingston for an update on the work the clinic are undertaking in prosthetic technology.

London Prosthetics Company

It was great to catch up with lead prosthetist, Abdo Haidar on some of his current patients, the types of prosthetics available to them and the fantastic outcomes achieved with Abdo’s help. It was inspiring to hear how these individuals have taken steps to rebuild their lives with their bespoke prosthetic limb/s and the activities they have been able to get back to. We discussed the importance of follow up appointments and therapies to get the most out of the prosthetic limb and help the individual resume their pre-accident lifestyle as far as possible.

Abdo provided an update on current prosthetic technology including the SocketMaster, an innovative project that he is working on with other European organisations. Abdo explained the thinking behind the SocketMaster design being the creation of socket comfort-optimisation by a custom designed mechanical and electronic frame. The aim is for the design and construction of a well-fitted prosthetic socket to be completed within a few hours in the same day. It was fascinating to see the prototype and hear about the initial testing stage. The clinical trials of fifty lower limb amputees within the London Prosthetic Centre are to be completed during 2017.

SocketMaster - London Prosthetic company

Claire Roantree says “It is clear to see that Abdo’s clients significantly benefit from his unwavering enthusiasm and passion as a Prosthetist and his commitment to push the boundaries in prosthetic advancement. We were privileged to observe the work that goes into prosthetics at LPC.  I am excited to see how the trials go for Socket Master as this will be hugely beneficial to prosthetic wearers in the future.”

We look forward to continuing our relationship with the London Prosthetic Centre and keep a look out for future joint events.

For further information about amputation compensation claims talk to us confidentially and without any commitment or cost – call us on our freephone number 0800 015 4538 or email us at PIClaims@boyesturner.com.

If you would like further information about London Prosthetic Centre click here.

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The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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