Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

On Tuesday 9th October MW are proud to be hosting the inaugural London and South East Burning Nights Support Group meeting.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Burning Nights is a charity dedicated to raising awareness and supporting people affected by a poorly understood nerve condition, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

CRPS can cause a person to experience persistent, severe and debilitating pain along with other symptoms. The condition may develop after an injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack, but the pain is out of proportion with the severity of the initial injury or trauma. Over 65% of cases are caused by soft tissue injuries. The cause of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome isn’t clearly understood and CRPS awareness in the UK is low. However the earlier a diagnosis of CRPS is given, the better the prognosis is for a patient.

There is no cure for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  It is a chronic and life-changing condition.  There is a range of treatments available to help manage symptoms, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy, psychological therapy, medication, regional and lumbar blocks, neurostimulators, implants, alternative therapy and pain management programmes.

The aim of the support group is to  enable CRPS sufferers, carers, families and friends to meet others in a similar situation and share experiences and advice.  The opportunity to build a supportive social network can be a lifeline to those experiencing isolation as a result of a chronic pain condition.

We are delighted to welcome two guest speakers to our first meeting:

  • Martin Leppard will be inspiring us recounting his amazing journey from a devastating CRPS diagnosis to competing as a successful triathlete.
  • Stephen Cottrell of Devereux Chambers will be discussing how, from a legal point of view, attitudes to CRPS are finally changing for the better.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those suffering from CRPS which has developed following injury. We provide expert support and guidance in what will be difficult and challenging times and put you in touch with other organisations that can help such as BURNING NIGHTS.  Based on our wealth of experience we will  seek to achieve a financial result that makes a real difference to your long-term security as we as providing the care and assistance you need. .

If you would like to talk to us about your case today call  us on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page

NHS

 

On 10th October 2018 the Supreme Court unanimously upheld an appeal by the Claimant that a hospital, whose A&E reception staff told a patient he would have to wait up to five hours before receiving treatment for a head injury, was in breach of it’s duty of care.

The Case

The Claimant, Michael Mark Junior Darnley, who was then aged 26, was assaulted in the late afternoon of 17 May 2010. Later the same day he telephoned a friend and told him about the assault. He said that he felt unwell and had a headache which was getting worse. His friend advised him to seek medical attention and drove Mr Darnley to the Accident & Emergency department at Mayday Hospital (now known as Croydon University Hospital).

Mr Darnley gave an account of the incident to the A&E receptionist but the receptionist told him that he would need to take a seat and wait up to 4 or 5 hours before he could be seen.  The receptionist did not notify Mr Darnley that the hospital had a priority triage system and that patients with head injuries were fast tracked and would be triaged within 30 minutes.

As a result of this omission Mr Darney did not wait in A&E because he had started to feel very unwell; he asked his friend  after waiting 19 minutes to take him home where his condition worsened.  He was subsequently taken by ambulance back to Mayday hospital where he was diagnosed as having a serious head injury with bleeding on the brain. Mr Darnley was left with a permanent brain injury and severe paralysis to the left side of his body.

The Court in the first instance and at appeal ruled that the incorrect information being given by the receptionist did not amount to a breach  and the Court of Appeal held that:

  1. The Trust did not owe Mr Darnley a duty to advise him about waiting times,

  2. The damage he suffered was outside the scope of any duty that was owed to him, and

  3. There was no causal link between any breach and his injuries; he was told to wait, but chose to leave. 

Mr Darnley’s defeat sat very uncomfortably with many Clinical Negligence lawyers.

The Ruling

The Supreme Court overturned these decisions and Mr Darnley was successful in showing that the receptionist owed a duty of care and that the duty was breached.  Furthermore the chain of causation was not broken because it was foreseeable that Mr Darnley may have left A&E after being advised that he would have to wait in the region of 4 to 5 hours.

This decision came as welcome news to many, who had felt that Mr Darnley had been denied justice previously.   Of course he would rely on the information given to him at reception and it was easy to see that he would have stayed, considering he was feeling so unwell, if he knew that an assessment of his injury would take place within 30 minutes, merely 11 minutes after he left. 

The Supreme Court’s decision is undoubtedly the right decision; Mr Darnley should be compensated for his injuries and patients should be able to rely on information given to them by medical and non-medical staff.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have suffered at the hands of medical professionals. 

We are also experienced Brain Injury Solicitors who will arrange a specialist Brain Injury Case Manager to help plan and implement a rehabilitation package which can incorporate your health, psychological, educational or occupational needs.   We will work with medical, clinical and other experts to value your past and most importantly, future needs, such as personal and medical care, income, accommodation and transport.

Where possible we will secure interim payments to assist with day to day and rehabilitation needs throughout the course of your claim.

If you would like to speak to our team of specialist Clinical Negligence or Personal Injury Solicitors to discuss your case, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us more about your case and arrange a callback.

 

Brain and Vestibular Injury

 

In recent months there have been three judgments where the Claimant has sought to prove a subtle (mild) brain injury, claiming a number of ongoing symptoms and impairments, including vestibular (balance and dizziness) injuries.

Pinkus v Direct Line

The Claimant was involved in a road traffic accident on the M4 when another vehicle moved into the fast lane and collided with the Claimant. The injuries claimed included a mild traumatic brain injury and psychological symptoms. The Claimant claimed that his injuries caused him to lose his job a few weeks after the accident and that he has not worked since apart from some unsuccessful attempts at short term contracts. His claim totalled in the region of £850,000. However, the Judge found that the Claimant had consciously exaggerated and had given inconsistent accounts of his symptoms. The Judge held that the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest and dismissed the claim in it’s entirety.

Hibberd-Little v Carlton

This claimant was involved in a rear end collision and claimed that she suffered a mild brain injury, a diffuse axonal injury, resulting in a cluster of cognitive and physical problems, psychological issues, concussion of the auditory and vestibular symptoms resulting in vestibular migraine and hyperacusis. She also suffered a soft tissue injury to her neck and upper thoracic spine. Her claim totalled £4.4 million. However, the Judge preferred most of the Defendant’s medical expert evidence and was not satisfied that the accident had caused an organic brain injury with cognitive, behavioural and audio-vestibular symptoms. In addition the Judge did not accept much of the Claimant’s witness evidence as there were inconsistences with her medical records and an absence of a clear timeline. The Claimant was awarded just £41,250.

Joseph v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

The Claimant was again involved in a rear end collision. She complained of a number of ongoing symptoms including dizziness, imbalance, headaches, difficulty thinking, poor memory and poor concentration. A key factor in the judge deciding that there was no traumatic brain injury was the preference of the defendant’s neurology expert who was of the opinion that there was no post traumatic amnesia. She was awarded £388,181 but of the future losses claimed totalling £1,183,051, she was awarded just £151,800.

We Can Help

The poor outcomes of these cases for the Claimants demonstrate that each case is individual and requires the knowledge and expertise of a specialist Personal Injury solicitor when preparing and building a brain and vestibular injury case. 

At MW Solicitors we have many years of experience of undertaking brain and vestibular injury cases, achieving successful outcomes.  We are experts in:

  • Preparation of accurate and consistent witness statements.
  • Selecting appropriate medical experts.
  • The careful consideration of what each medical expert is saying.
  • Claiming sums appropriate to the injuries which can be proved.

If you have suffered a brain or vestibular injury and have not yet instructed a solicitor, or if you have an ongoing claim and are unhappy with the way the case is progressing, our expert Personal Injury Solicitors are waiting to talk to you.

Don't delay, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

In an episode of Coronation Street this week Kevin Webster had to make a heart breaking decision to allow doctors to amputate his 7 year old son’s foot to save him from dying from sepsis. He had developed the potentially fatal condition after grazing his knee while playing football. In real life thousands of parents every year are faced with the same terrible decision.


Denise McKeown
Denise McKeown
Partner - Health & Injury

According to the UK Sepsis Trust someone in the world dies of sepsis every 3.5 seconds. In the UK alone, 44,000 people lose their lives to sepsis every year. This is more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Globally, sepsis claims 6 million lives a year. Yet with early diagnosis it is easily treatable.

Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection or injury. Normally the immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons which are not  understood, it attacks the body’s own organs and tissues. If it is not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.

The initial symptoms of Sepsis are flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.

Sepsis and Clinical Negligence Claims

Jack’s half sister, Sophie Webster, was caring for Jack when he became ill. She sought help from a medical centre and a hospital but his symptoms were dismissed as a virus and she was told to give him liquid paracetamol. There was therefore a delay in making a correct diagnosis and commencing treatment. As a result Jack became severely ill and required an amputation of his foot to save his life. Sophie is now considering legal action against the medical centre and the hospital on the grounds that the delay caused the amputation.

McMillan Williams are specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors. Our team of lawyers have dealt with several cases concerning a delay or failure to diagnose sepsis obtaining the maximum possible compensation for victims and their families to assist in rebuilding their lives.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors our mission is “To make quality legal services accessible to everyone” including those who find themselves in a similar situation to the fictional Webster family.  We can help by acting quickly to secure funding by way of interim payment for rehabilitation, treatment and care packages whilst investigating the claim fully.

Our team of experienced and specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors are here to help. Call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

In recent days MW Solicitors Head of Clinical Negligence – Adult Claims, Injury, Hasina Choudhury, had a recent high profile Inquest Judgement which found “gross failures” at Croydon University Hospital (CUH) in their treatment of a patient which ultimately caused her death.


Hasina Choudhury
Hasina Choudhury
Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence - Adult Claims

This was a tragic case of a 52 year old woman who died after choking on a small lump of ham in a salad, which she should not have been given, as her dietary requirements permitted for soft foods only.

Senior coroner Selena Lynch, heard testimony from 19 witnesses before giving a verdict on Thursday morning of accidental death contributed to by neglect and stated:

“cumulative failures by hospital staff to follow hospital procedure and good nursing practice”.

Representing the family, Hasina argued that policies and procedures at the hospital were “routinely ignored” and nurses and healthcare assistants were allowed to “do what they pleased”.

The findings have forced both an apology from the Hospital and changes to their safety policy, stating.  A Hospital spokesperson said:

“we have introduced additional safety checks when servicing meals to patients on special diets, and ensured nutrition noticeboards are used properly so safe eating requirements are clearly displayed for all ward staff to see.”

The family welcomed the hospital accepting their failures and after the hearing Hasina read out a family statement to the press which said:

“A series of errors has led to the tragic death of our client’s wife. Her death was entirely avoidable, policies and procedures that were in place were routinely ignored and nurses and healthcare assistants were allowed to do what they pleased.”

After our client’s wife’s death, the hospital refused to accept responsibility for the catalogue of errors and information which was miscommunicated to the family.

The hospital now accepts their failure led to our client’s wife’s death. Their apology is welcomed by the family, albeit arrived late.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including bereaved families who deserve to know the circumstances of their loved ones death.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

The Injury Team at MW Guildford are proud to support Headway Surrey with a donation of £5,000.00.  Headway Surrey is delighted and very proud to have been chosen.

Headway Surrey is a registered charity that supports people with acquired brain injury.  Brain injury is often referred to as the “hidden” disability.  Unlike other life changing conditions people do not think about it in advance.  It is only when it actually happens, usually suddenly, to an individual – whether that be through a road traffic incident, a sports injury or even an illness such as a stroke – which people actually realise how traumatic, debilitating, frustrating and even frightening a brain injury can be.

(Right to Left: Sonja Freebody (CEO Headway Surrey, Keith Churchouse (Chapters Financial)
Hasina Choudhury (MW Solicitors Guildford)

Brain injury is a largely hidden disability.  Headway’s aims are to help rebuild a person’s independence and to enable the family to cope with the devastating trauma that has affected them. There are bespoke individual programs of rehabilitation, both in their centre and at home, befriending, helpline and carers support.  They specialise in memory skills, planning, prioritising, behavioural and executive skills.    This is often slow-stream cognitive therapy, and may take many years of rehabilitation.  The changes are small and slow, however, positive results are still seen many years after their injury.  The Rehabilitation Coordinators set small achievable goals and targets for each individual and work tirelessly with them to achieve their best. 

Sonja Freebody, CEO of Headway said:

“This £5,000 donation is a much needed boost to our Surrey service. It is fabulous to be supported by the Guildford Business Community. Our annual running costs are £200,000, we are a small local charity however we achieve a lot for all of those who attend and their families.”

Sarah Corbett, Partner and Clinical Negligence Solicitor at MW Solicitors Guildford office said:

“In my experience, brain injury has a profound effect on the lives of not only the injured person but also those around them.  I have assisted clients with varying degrees of brain injuries from those with profound injuries to those where there is a subtle brain injury, only obvious to those who know them well.  Sometimes it is only by getting to know people with brain injuries that you understand the implications that any type of brain injury, no matter the degree, can have upon an individuals’ daily activities.  We were glad to support this local Surrey based charity in order to help it continue to work tirelessly in the support of those with brain injuries and also to assist those around them.”

We Can Help

The MW team is here to provide expert support and guidance in what will be difficult and challenging times and put you in touch with other organisations that can help such as Headway Surrey.  Based on our wealth of experience we will  seek to achieve a financial result that makes a real difference to your long-term security.

If you would like to talk to us about your brain injury case call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page

 


The Injury Department at McMillan Williams Solicitors have been supporting the bold and colourful Headscapes Art Exhibition at the Jubilee Library in Brighton over the last month, collecting donations, recruiting volunteers and spreading the word of the incredible work the Headway East Sussex brain injury charity do for our community.

The exhibition displayed artwork created by people who have brain injury, many capturing the beauty of Brighton and the South Coast in an adventurous and vibrant style. Art and therapy stimulates many different parts of the brain on both the right and the left sides, which can work to improve the links between the component parts of the brain in order to make it stronger. Headway East Sussex offer art sessions where attendees are able to explore the feelings and emotions that they are experiencing due to brain injury and then express them through art. The sessions are inspired by accomplished artists and art therapy volunteers.

The volunteers from MW received an incredible response to the artwork; children were in awe and adults were fascinated with the influences and visions behind the artwork.

The purpose of the exhibition was not only to provide enjoyment through art form for the Brighton Hove community and beyond, but to raise awareness about the many pathways that Headway East Sussex is able to offer people with brain injuries and their families in their road to recovery.

The exhibition was a huge success and the Injury Department at MW were enthused by the support and great work that the charity and the exhibition have achieved. Working with individuals every day in our specialist teams at MW who have suffered brain injury, we understand the importance of expert rehabilitation and support for our clients and their families which is why we work so closely with Headway East Sussex.

If you would like to find out more about the vital work that Headway East Sussex does, please visit: www.headwayeastsussex.org.uk

We Can Help

The MW team is here to provide expert support and guidance in what will be difficult and challenging times and put you in touch with other organisations that can help such as HEADWAY.  Based on our wealth of experience we will  seek to achieve a financial result that makes a real difference to your long-term security.

If you would like to talk to us about your brain injury case call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page

 

Action for Brain Injury Week

Every 90 seconds somebody in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury. The long term effect of a brain injury can alter how a person walks, thinks, talks and feels and can be devastating for the injured person and their loved ones.

Action for Brain Injury Week


Emma Wilson
Emma Wilson
Solicitor - Health & Injury

Action for Brain Injury Week is an annual week-long awareness raising event that this year takes place between 14th and 20th May. The event is organised by Headway, a leading charity dedicated to promoting and understanding of all aspects of brain injury.

This year, the theme of Action for Brain Injury Week is You, Me and Brain Injury. The aim of the week is to highlight the fact that a brain injury doesn’t just affect the individual, but also their  family, friends, work colleagues, and wider network. It is often the care and support provided by their friends and family that helps a person with a brain injury to adapt to the life-changing effect of their injury.

As lawyers, working with individuals who have suffered a brain injury, the specialist team at McMillan Williams put the injured person and their family at the heart of what we do.  We work hard to ensure they receive the appropriate level of compensation to assist them and their loved ones to rebuild their lives but we also ensure they are provided with the right support and advice throughout the process.

We understand the need to secure early interim payments and private rehabilitation to supplement or take the place of the care already provided by the NHS. We aim to secure funding from the party at fault to put a programme of rehabilitation in place as early as possible. We work closely with Case Managers specialising in brain injury rehabilitation who work with the individual and family to provide a comprehensive package of support.  Our Private Client Team are also able to help by appointing a Deputy if a client lacks the capacity to manage their own affairs.

We have close working relationships with private rehabilitation providers and charities such as Headway Guildford, UKABIF and The Silverlining Charity for our work with brain injury survivors and we strive to ensure our clients are able to regain their confidence and independence as far as possible and reach their optimum level of recovery, with our help and the support of their family and friends.

Hats For Headway - 18th May 2018

On Friday 18th May, the team at MW will once again be taking part in Hats for Headway Day – a fundraising event which takes place during Action for Brain Injury Week. Our team will be sporting our most outrageous, weird and wonderful headgear on social media to help raise money and awareness for the charity.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin or through the hashtag #HatsForHeadway.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have suffered an Acquired Brian Injury.  We will arrange a specialist Brain Injury Case Manager to help plan and implement a rehabilitation package which can incorporate your health, psychological, educational or occupational needs.   We will work with medical, clinical and other experts to value your past and most importantly, future needs, such as personal and medical care, income, accommodation and transport.

Where possible we will secure interim payments to assist with day to day and rehabilitation needs throughout the course of your claim.

If you would like to speak to our team of specialist Personal Injury Solicitors to discuss your case, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

Breast Screening

 

Many women between the ages of 68 and 71 will be waking up to the news that they might be a victim to the NHS computer system which failed to call women for their final breast cancer screening scan.

Screening in the UK starts at the age of 50 and carries on until the age of 71, with scans being undertaken every 3 years to catch any suspicious changes early and to give patients the best chance of a good outcome following a breast cancer diagnosis.  For many the system has not worked and an IT error has resulted in the screening not being carried out as it should have been.

The stories and numbers that are in the press are alarming and it is reported that 450,000 women missed out on the screening between 2009 and this year and of those women, 309,000 are still alive. It is very sad to hear that this means some 41,000 women may have died as a result and gives rise to a serious concern that some of these deaths might have been avoided if screening had taken place.

This is a lot of information and will no doubt be distressing to those who may be affected, someone who thinks that they have missed a screening, a family member who has lost a loved to breast cancer or someone who in the coming days receives an NHS recall letter. 

The NHS have assured the public that they will act quickly and remedy the situation where it is possible to do so.  While we wait for further information to emerge, MW Solicitors encourages those who suspect that they may be affected to use the NHS helpline to seek answers to any queries they may have.

We also encourage patients to seek legal advice as they may be able to seek compensation for any harm that has come to them as a result of a delayed diagnosis.

We Can Help


Nisha Sharma
Nisha Sharma
Partner - Health & Injury

At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who have been affected by the failure of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

Nisha Sharma is a specialist Clinical Negligence solicitor with a wealth of experience in this area and has previously acted for many women in breast cancer claims, most notably in the Ian Paterson litigation.  Nisha can travel to see her clients wherever they may be based in the UK.   

If you feel you may be a patient affected by this failure of the Breast Screening Programme, contact us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

Coroner's Court

Clare Evans of MW’s specialist inquest team represents the bereaved family of Robin Richards. The lengthy inquest into Robin’s death concluded on 9th March 2015.


Clare Evans
Clare Evans
Solicitor - Civil Litigation

Robin’s death highlights the lack of provision in the community for those diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. The ongoing concern gave rise to the Coroner’s decision on 9th March 2015 to prepare a ‘Report to Prevent Future Deaths’, which will be sent to the Department of Health to respond to.

The Coroner will also send a report to Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust arising out of the concerns highlighted at this inquest.

The jury at Somerset Coroner’s Court found that the following factors contributed to Robin’s death:

  • Communication
  • Training
  • Information-sharing
  • Discharge planning
  • Care planning
  • Risk assessment

Robin died on 3rd July 2015, aged 33, further to hanging himself from a staircase at Highbridge Court in Somerset, on 29th June 2015. Highbridge Court is a private Care Home run by Tracscare (now re-branded ‘Accomplish’), which at the time, advertised itself as a specialised forensic Mental Health service.

Robin was transferred to Highbridge Court on 15th June 2015, followed a prolonged in-patient stay - initially detained under the Mental Health Act before becoming a voluntary in-patient - on a psychiatric ward at Wellsprings Hospital, Taunton.

It is well-documented that the transition from in-patient care to the community is a time of high-risk of suicidality, particularly in the first two weeks after hospital discharge.

In spite of this, when Robin was transferred to Highbridge Court, independent expert evidence confirmed the view Robin’s discharge was not adequately planned for, and staff at Highbridge Court had not been informed by staff of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, of the potential risk of harm from Robin, to himself.

The incident on 29th June followed a 2 week period in which Robin regularly expressed suicidal thoughts, and had started to act upon his thoughts by harming himself, including walking in front of moving traffic.

The inquest heard evidence of

  • failings in risk assessment and management;
  • Robin’s family being left out of key discussions and meetings around his care, discharge and risk management;
  • Highbridge Court failing to communicate the full breadth of Robin’s self-harming behaviours to the family or the Trust’s Community Mental Health and Crisis teams;
  • lack of training of care home staff regarding Asperger’s and what to do if someone was found hanging

Details of the Preventing Future Deaths Reports to the Department of Health and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are eagerly awaited. The family hope that lessons will be learned from Robin’s tragic death, so that others with similar presentations will not have to suffer the same fate.

This inquest is timely given the recent Guardian article which reveals fundamental shortcomings in mental health care provision, which puts lives at risk. For example, failures in training, flawed processes and errors in judgement (link to article below).

Further, it is understood there are ongoing concerns in relation to other Tracscare Homes in England and Wales, linking into the broader national concern as to the increasing use of private care homes for the purpose of mental health care provision. It is of note that under the Human Rights Act, private care homes can be ‘public authorities’ and, therefore, obliged to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

We Can Help

At MW Our Mission is "to make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have lost loved ones whilst in care.  Our experienced and expert Lawyers will represent you at every step of the way.  From Inquest to prosecution and if applicable, in a claim for compensation.  We will be on hand to ensure that you get the access to Justice that you deserve.

If you or your family have suffered an accident at work and would like to speak to one of our expert injury solicitors, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

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