A 56-year-old Unite member has secured £1.7m in a medical negligence claim after a serious condition went undiagnosed at hospital for nearly a week, which led to him needing his right leg amputated.
After suffering significant pain in his right leg, as well as a lack of circulation and discolouration of his big toe, he visited his GP, who admitted him to hospital.
The symptoms had been caused by critical limb ischaemia, a condition that occurs when a person’s arteries become obstructed. He was discharged and told to go back to the hospital the next day, when he should have had an operation to restore blood flow in his right leg.
Instead he had a thrombectomy operation, which was unsuccessful, and it wasn’t until nearly a week later that he had femoral bypass surgery.
Because of the delay and a subsequent infection, he had no choice but to have his leg amputated above the knee.
The Unite member said: “I was completely let down by the hospital. I went there with a serious, but treatable, condition. There were several instances where the issue could have been spotted - I would have needed a relatively minor operation to treat it. It’s heart breaking that in the end I lost my leg.”
He contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation. The £1.7m settlement secured means he can cover the cost of prosthetics, which have enabled him to return to work, as well as pay for domestic assistance and for him to move to an adapted bungalow.
“I’m fortunate that I am a Unite member,” he added. “I don’t know if I would have started a compensation claim if I didn’t have my union’s solicitors supporting me. Unite Legal Services explained everything to me and helped me throughout my claim, securing a payout that means I don’t have to worry about the costs of further treatment and new prosthetics. My employer was accommodating and has offered me a new role that isn’t so physically demanding.
“Even so, coming to terms with how my life is now has been incredibly tough. I can only hope that the hospital has learnt from what happened and doesn’t put someone else’s health at risk, like they did mine.”
Karen Reay, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside regional secretary at Unite the union, said: “Our member’s life has been catastrophically turned upside down because of the negligence of a medical professional. I can’t begin to imagine how traumatising the whole ordeal must have been for him and his family.
“We always strive to ensure members unfairly injured secure the highest possible amount of compensation, and we secured £1.7m after this horrendous injury. This settlement safeguards our member’s rehabilitation so he has access to high-quality treatment and prosthetics without having to worry about the financial burden.”