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Document error resulting in unnecessary vein surgery leads to clinical negligence settlement

AuthorsFiona TinsleyIsobel McCluskey

Document error resulting in unnecessary vein surgery leads to clinical negligence settlement

Our medical negligence team achieved a £1,750 out of court settlement for an 82-year-old woman (‘the Claimant’).

The claim was brought against Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after the Claimant underwent unnecessary surgery when the incorrect vein was initially operated on, resulting in a delay in treating the correct, injured, vein. The Claimant experienced pain and suffering from the unnecessary surgery and delay in treatment, as well as loss of amenity during the recovery period.


Background to the case

The Claimant’s niece made initial contact with our medical negligence experts Fiona Tinsley and Isobel McCluskey concerning her Aunt’s treatment.

In 2018, the Claimant underwent a varicose vein assessment, followed by right leg saphenous laser ablation surgery in February 2022, to treat varicose veins. Post-operatively, the Claimant required Heparin injections into her stomach for one week and was to wear compression stockings for six weeks. She was due to have her left leg laser ablation thereafter.

During a follow-up appointment ten days after the right leg surgery, it was confirmed that — following a review of the duplex imaging from August 2021 — the wrong vein had been operated on. The clinic notes and letters from August 2021 referred to the incorrect sides. On this basis, the Claimant was listed for long saphenous laser ablation on the wrong vein.

The Trust apologised to the Claimant and said that she never actually needed the initial surgery on her right long saphenous vein. The Claimant eventually underwent the correct treatment in May 2022.


Legal proceedings and admission of liability

Following receipt of instructions, a subject access request was made to the Trust in August 2022, indicating the Claimant’s intention to pursue legal proceedings.

Records were requested from the Defendant Trust in August 2022 and received by our team in November 2022. While in the process of being reviewed in December 2022, an apology, admission of liability and offer to settle was received from the NHS Resolution, exercising its Duty of Candour principles in taking responsibility for its error and offering a suitable remedy, which the Claimant happily accepted.


Out of court settlement

This resulted in an out of court global settlement of £1,750 in total damages. The Claimant was delighted with the result and thanked our team for the speed at which we reached a resolution.

If you would like advice from our medical negligence experts, arrange a free initial chat with our friendly team.

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