Medical negligence news
Led a sorry dance - Grandmother let down by hospital
In times of medical emergency we are accustomed to putting our trust and health
in the hands of the medical establishment. However, statistics offer a blunt
indictment of UK hospitals, suggesting that medical negligence is much rifer than
it would comfort anyone to think.
It rarely enters our heads that the services which are supposedly there to care for
us when we are at our most vulnerable might let us down, placing our already
fragile physical and emotional health in danger. For one Welsh family recently, this
nightmare became a reality, as a 79-year-old grandmother was subjected to a
troubling catalogue of errors and inconveniences.
The 79-year-old from Rumney, Cardiff, had already been to the University Hospital
of Wales, Cardiff, twice, following a fall down some stairs at the home of her 40-
year-old son, who she was visiting for a meal on mother's day.
During her visit to the hospital, experts failed to identify several broken bones in
her neck and sent her home, misdiagnosing her with whiplash.
After several days spent at home wracked with severe pain, the 79-year-old
woman, in consultation with her GP and family, resolved to call out an ambulance.
The farce the family experienced next only added to the frustration already felt at
the difficulties faced during the 79-year-olds initial two visits to the hospital. After
being told that the grandmother of six would face a two-hour wait for an
ambulance, they were rung by ambulance control asking them if they would mind
a car instead.
When the car finally arrived, they were shocked to find that it was not a paramedic's
car but a common taxi. As the woman's son said, "I couldn't believe it when I saw a
taxi.It's absolutely horrendous. The taxi dropped us off and I had to walk her into
Unfortunately, this woman's plight is neither unusual nor extreme in the UK right
now. According to a report published by the National Audit Office in 2005, over
2000 patients died in UK hospitals in 2004 as a result of some form of medical
negligence, while a further 1 million suffered as the result of mistakes by medical
Fortunately, for those who have suffered from an instance of medical negligence there is the option of redress through making a no win, no fee medical compensation claim.