NHS, local authorities paying through the nose on accidents

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 9 Oct 2012:

Local authorities and the NHS have been paying through the nose when it comes to personal injury claims lately, according to this week’s news roundup.

It was recently revealed that school bullies have been causing injuries to pupils, causing local authorities across the length and breadth of the UK to pay out on £109,000 in damages on personal injury claims in 2011 alone. Almost a dozen pupils brought claims against their local councils by personal injury solicitors after injuries at the hands of fellow students last year, the data shows.

Lancashire Council was hit hardest, with three separate cases seeing a combined payout of £20,000. One young pupil received a damages award of £11,000 after his hand was crushed, while the broken arm of another schoolboy earned him £8,000 and the facial injuries of a third child were worth £9,000 in compensatory damages.

Meanwhile, it’s not just local councils having to foot some rather large legal bills. The NHS faces an even steeper compensation payout – £750,000 – after a Somerset man’s diabetic foot infection was misdiagnosed as a case of athlete’s foot. Bob Wareham, a Somerset-based business owner, ended up losing his leg due to the incident, as the misdiagnosis delayed the 54 year old’s treatment to the point of no return.

The medication Mr Wareham was given, a round of antibiotics designed to combat athlete’s foot, did absolutely nothing to clear up the leg infection, leaving him suffering for an additional 48 hours before the concerned man went to the A&E department of his hospital. It was only then that the diabetic foot infection was discovered, but there was little to be done except to perform an emergency amputation.

Mr Wareham, who launched a medical negligence claim three years ago for his injuries, finally reached a settlement out of court with the NHS Litigation Authority and the Weston General Hospital. Both defendants declined to make any comment to the press besides awarding the injured man his £750,000 personal injury claim.


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