Mr K was advised that he needed to have both hips replaced; it was planned that this would be done in 2 separate operations about 4 months apart. To avoid lengthy waiting lists he was referred for this surgery by Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust’s “Choose and Book” system to an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Woodlands Hospital, Darlington. This meant that the NHS would pay for his treatment at this private hospital. The same surgeon performed both hip replacements.
Following his hip replacements Mr K. was in a great deal of pain and he found it harder to get around than before the operations. This made it hard for him to continue working and he was off work for long periods of time as he was not fit enough for his job as a youth worker. As he was unable to commit to work with the charity where he was employed he missed out on an opportunity for promotion there.
He approached us over a year after the initial surgery when he felt his concerns were not being taken seriously by the surgeon and he was not being offered any treatment to improve his situation. At the suggestion of his solicitor here at Armstrong Foulkes he requested his GP organise a referral to a particular well-respected surgeon at a local NHS trust for a second opinion. He was advised by this new surgeon that both hip replacements needed to be removed and new ones put in. That surgeon performed repair operations to each side and corrected the problems. After these surgeries Mr K was finally able to walk and move around comfortably and he no longer suffered daily pain. Basically he was in the position he should have been in after his first 2 hip replacement operations.
We investigated on his behalf and he was examined by our own independent medical expert who told us that the first two surgeries were performed negligently as the replacement hips were the wrong size and had been inserted at the wrong angle. The NHS Trust did not accept responsibility for the negligence straight away and we issued court proceedings against them. The case settled shortly afterwards.
Mr K. received compensation for the unnecessary pain he suffered and the fact he had to undergo 2 further operations to correct the problems which he could have otherwise avoided. He also successfully claimed compensation for his lost earnings, the loss of the job opportunity and the care and assistance he needed from his wife before the problems were corrected.
Joanne Dennison – February 2014