Archive for July, 2014

Girl who was Diagnosed for Meningitis Too Late to make a Recovery receives Compensation Settlement

July 9th, 2014 | By licnewsadmin

The young girl, who received a late diagnosis for her meningitis, has received a compensation settlement for £5.5million after healthcare professionals apologised, saying that they failed to follow their own protocol.

The child, Ellie Sutton aged nine from Witham in Essex, was brought to Colchester hospital by her mother, Sarah, with a fever of 39.9 degrees Celsius aged just eight months old. Even though the hospital’s own guidelines stated that if a child presented a temperature in excess of 38 degrees that should be admitted immediately and then monitored every hour, the mother and daughter were sent home, told only to return if the baby’s fever remained.

Mrs Sutton returned to the hospital that same day, and after her young daughter was examined by a doctor working in the Emergency Department, Ellie was admitted to hospital on the recommendation of the doctor, who claimed that she needed further monitoring and investigation. Yet a further examination was not conducted for another eleven hours, during which Ellie sustained brain damage because of the meningitis and is now reliant on care for the rest of her life.

Mrs Sutton sought legal counsel, and subsequently made a compensation claim for her daughter’s late diagnosis. An internal investigation was conducted at the hospital, and the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust admitted that they failed to follow their own guidelines. They stated that, had Ellie been admitted when she was first brought to them by her mother, she would have made a full recovery to health.

The case was heard at London’s High Court, where Judge Anthony Seys-Llewellyn heard an apology from the hospital for its mistakes. The court heard that the compensation settlement had been agreed such that it consisted a £2.4million lump sum and further, annual index-linked tax-free payments of £119,000. The total settlement was calculated to be worth £5.5million. The judge commented that “In a way this is the most painful day for you, because you have been thinking about what was intended to be”, but approved of the settlement.

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