We acted for a client who wished to bring a claim for damages against Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
Briefly, she had an accident whilst on holiday abroad during May 2015. At the material time, she was aged 72. Unfortunately, she fractured the middle and ring fingers on her right hand and also dislocated one other finger. She was treated surgically with manipulation and K wiring. Follow-up was due in the UK on return. She was referred by her GP for follow-up.
On her return to the UK, she was seen within a few days by an orthopaedic doctor at hospital. He noted the injuries. Radiographs were performed which showed “reasonable positions of the fractures”. The pin tracks (K wire entry points) were “fine”. A new plaster was applied and an appointment was organised for her to be seen by the Plastic Hand Surgeons the following week.
Some 7 weeks later, she was seen again the Fracture Clinic – she had been lost to follow-up.
Our client has still not recovered the full range of movement in her right hand. She complains of stiffness. She underwent extensive physiotherapy with a limited benefit. She was discharged by the hospital. She continued to do exercises for her hand.
Our case can be summarised as follows:-
- The failure to remove the K wires after four weeks constituted a breach of duty on the part of the Trust.
- The failure to do so made a material contribution towards our client’s ongoing stiffness in her fingers.
The case was complicated as our independent medical expert confirmed that the delay in removing the k-wires, had not greatly impacted on the outcome for our client. In other words, it is likely that she would still have had stiffness in her fingers in any event due to the severity of the original injury and the need for surgery.
A letter of claim was sent to the Hospital Trust and the parties were able to agree upon a settlement without the need to issue proceedings. The settlement reflected the difficulties that we had on causation.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £7,000.00 for this client during 2017