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Mediation secures settlement following amputation due to delay in treatment

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Our client, Mr Williams aged 71, had a history of peripheral artery disease and Type 2 diabetes. After suffering with a painful ulcer on his right foot he went to the A&E Department of his local hospital. He was prescribed painkillers and antibiotics and sent home.

However, the ulcer on his foot did not improve. Four weeks later Mr Williams went back to his GP who referred him to the Diabetic Foot Clinic at the hospital.  At the appointment he was examined but was not referred to a vascular surgeon for specialist treatment.

Shortly after the appointment Mr Williams’ fourth toe had become gangrenous and he was finally referred to the vascular team at the hospital.  He received treatment from this team over the next three months, but the treatment had proved unsuccessful and by that time it was too late to save his leg. He had no choice but to undergo a below-knee amputation of his right leg.

Mr Williams sought legal advice from Sumit Morjaria, a specialist solicitor in Access Legal Solicitors medical negligence team. We were instructed to pursue a claim for the delay in the hospital referring Mr Williams to the vascular surgery team for timely treatment to save his right foot which would have subsequently saved his right leg.

Supportive evidence was obtained from medical experts in emergency care, diabetology and vascular surgery. The hospital initially denied all liability before eventually admitting there had been a negligent delay in referring our client for specialist treatment. However, while conceding that there had indeed been a negligent delay in treatment, the hospital then continued to deny that the amputation of Mr Williams’ right leg would have been avoided.

In an attempt to achieve a settlement for our client without the need to go to court, Access Legal Solicitors invited the hospital’s representatives to attend a mediation meeting.

Mediation is an informal, voluntary and confidential process in which a trained neutral person called a mediator helps the parties resolve their dispute. A mediator’s role is not to take sides but he or she will often help to test the strength of each side’s position and explore solutions.  Access Legal Solicitors represented and supported our client and his family at the mediation meeting.

As a result, our client secured a six-figure settlement of compensation at the mediation meeting which avoided the need to go to a trial.

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