Southampton man left almost blind after hospital delays

Unite Legal Services has helped a Southampton man secure a substantial settlement after delays to his medical appointments caused him to suffer significant sight loss.

Our member was one of several patients whose appointments at the University Hospital Southampton’s Ophthalmology department were delayed due to administrative issues.

The 61-year-old man was first diagnosed with mild glaucoma in June 2017. He was told he was to be seen again within two months – however, despite phoning the hospital regularly, he was not seen until January 2018. By this point, he had lost almost all of the vision in his left eye, as well as partial vision loss in his right eye too.

He said: “Whenever I chased the hospital, they didn’t seem to care. They cited delays but didn’t seem to acknowledge my concerns or even apologise for what happened.”

Our member can no longer legally drive, and his condition limits the work he can do. He has been told that, had he been seen within the anticipated six to eight-week timeframe, it could have reduced the damage to his right eye and stopped the vision loss in his left eye.

Through his union membership, he was able to contact Unite Legal Services, who helped him secure £250,000 compensation.

Shelley Phillips, regional legal manager at Unite the union, said: “Critical errors at the University Hospital Southampton’s Ophthalmology department turned our member’s life upside down.

“We were proud to support him in his case and secure much-needed compensation as he attempts to move on with his life.”