Case Study

Pensioner receives six-figure payout from hospital trust

19th February 2019

Pensioner receives six-figure payout from hospital trust

A pensioner who suffered a stroke because of negligent medical advice he received prior to a hernia repair operation has been awarded a six-figure sum from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Harry Slater, who had been taking warfarin for several years, was due to undergo an elective hernia operation and was advised to stop his warfarin five days prior to the surgery. The day before the surgery however, Mr Slater had a catastrophic stroke that caused him to suffer severe left sided weakness and dysphasia.

Following a three-year legal battle, Mr Slater’s claim was settled out of court for a six-figure sum. Blackpool hospital have made a formal apology for their error and accept that with reasonable care, Mr Slater should have been given bridging therapy in the form of Deltaparin once he stopped the warfarin, in order to mitigate the risk of a blood clot occurring.  If Mr Slater been given the bridging therapy, it is likely the catastrophic stroke would have been avoided.

Clare Langford, a Clinical Negligence specialist from law firm Higgs & Sons who represented Mr Slater, said: “Before the stroke Mr Slater was completely independent and active enjoying gardening, cooking, DIY and walking his pet dog. After the stroke, Mr Slater was left with left sided weakness and only able to walk very short distances outdoors. 

“The biggest impact on Mr Slater has been the loss of his speech such that he is now only able to communicate with his wife and daughter and is reliant on them acting as his advocate.  Mr Slater requires significant care and assistance.”

In a letter to Mr Slater, Wendy Swift, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am writing to you to apologise unreservedly for the standard of care provided to you prior to your planned hernia operation in September 2013.

“Investigations have been undertaken into the concerns you raised and I regret to advise you that as a result of the findings it has been established that failings were identified which clearly led to you suffering an unavoidable stroke on the 15th September 2013.

“These failings mean that the care provided to you fell below the standard you were reasonably entitled to expect. The Trust accepts that had the appropriate level of advice and care been provided to you, the stoke you suffered would have been avoided.

“I wish to offer my personal unreserved apologies on behalf of Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for the shortcomings in your care and very much regret that this occurred.”

Clare Langford added: “We had compiled a strong case to the NHS to say that Mr Slater’s treatment had been negligent, and that as a result of mis-advice over his warfarin medication he suffered a catastrophic stroke – something that could have and should have been avoided.

“Thankfully the NHS has now accepted that it was their wrong doing that resulted in Mr Slater suffering the stroke and he has secured the compensation he needs to pay for the continued medical care and assistance he requires to live as full and independent a life as possible.”


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