Clinical negligence caused life-changing injuries to Unite member

Unite member, Jim* suffered a life-changing injury following an operation that took place at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Jim suffered from pre-existing inflammatory bowel disease and, as a result, had regular appointments at the hospital. Following one of his appointments, he was advised that he would require a permanent ileostomy which took place in March 2016. At the time he was 66 years of age and in good general health. Post-surgery he suffered severe pain and had signs of sepsis. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he was subsequently diagnosed with a small bowel fluid leak.

Jim became gravely ill and spent a month in an intensive care unit. During that time, he developed renal failure requiring dialysis and required a tracheostomy for ventilated support. He was in the hospital for two months and had to relearn how to walk as he had so much muscle wastage when he was discharged from the hospital. As a direct result of the negligence, he was left with a permanent stoma which cannot be reversed and has had life-changing consequences.

The matter settled after formal mediation with the NHS Resolution Authority for a six-figure sum. Karen Reay of Unite said: “Without access to legal services provided through the member's union, the Unite member would not have recovered the level of damages that he did. He had assistance throughout which included access to specialist solicitors, barristers, and medical experts.”

Commenting on the support he received, Jim said: “Without the backing and support of Unite Legal Services, I would not have recovered the level of compensation that I did. I had contacted other clinical negligence solicitors unaware that Unite Legal Services could assist. The other firms either turned down my claim or agreed to take it on but would have taken a very large success fee from my damages award.”

*Names may have been changed to protect the identity of our member