BHRUT agrees £15.6m settlement for woman left severely brain damaged following surgery failings at Queen’s Hospital

The woman was undergoing surgery at Queen's Hospital in 2012 when staff failed to spot a bleed. Phot

The woman was undergoing surgery at Queen's Hospital in 2012 when staff failed to spot a bleed. Photo: John Hercock - Credit: Archant

A woman left severely brain damaged following failings in surgery has received a £15.6million settlement which will fund the specialist care she requires for the rest of her life.

The woman, then 19, was undergoing surgery in 2012 to remove abnormal blood vessels in the brain when staff at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, did not spot a bleed.

The woman, from London, cannot be named for legal reasons. She requires 24-hour care. Her condition means she suffers a number of physical and neurological problems, including mobility and sight issues as well as ongoing weakness in her limbs and fatigue.

Following her injury the woman’s family instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust admitted liability and has agreed a settlement totalling £15,686,090.

The money will fund the specialist care and therapies the woman will require for the rest of the life and allow her to buy a specially adapted property. It will also compensate for the fact she will never be able to work again.

The settlement was approved by the High Court on Thursday, March 7.

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Dr Magda Smith, chief medical officer at BHRUT, said: “We would like to again sincerely apologise and express our regret at the outcome of this young woman’s treatment with us in 2012.

“We set ourselves high standards and we acknowledge that on this occasion we fell short of those standards.

“We hope that the settlement which the Court has now approved will go some way towards meeting her care and other needs both now and into the future as well as recognising the enormous support she has received both from her parents and extended family and friends to date.

“We would like to express our very best wishes to her and her family for the future.”

Lauren Hurney, specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The consequences of our client’s surgery have had a huge impact on her life and that of her family.

“While nothing can ever make up for what has happened we hope that today’s hearing will bring vital peace of mind to her and her family, allowing them to the look to the future the best they can.

“It is important to remember that the funds are very carefully calculated, and approved by the court, and will allow our client to access the around-the-clock care she is going to need for the rest of her life.

“We hope that the hospital trust learns lessons from this case to improve patient care.”

The woman’s family added: “Coming to terms with the events that happened during surgery have been incredibly difficult for everyone to come to terms with.

“We know that life will never be the same again but the progress she has made because of the rehabilitation programme and care package has been extraordinary.

“All the family are relieved that this settlement now means that she will be able to try concentrate on the future and try and make the most of life. We are so proud of the bravery and determination she shows every day.

“However, it is vital that the hospital trust also learns from what happened to our family as we wouldn’t want others to have to go through what we have.”