Our customer, Alan was left in pain for months after doctors failed to diagnose a wound infection following his hip replacement.
Alan Oliver first attended his GP back in March 2015 after becoming concerned about pain in his knee. The GP advised he would need to be referred to see a specialist at the hospital.
A few months later, Alan attended his hospital consultation and underwent x-rays of his hips, knees and pelvis. Following the results, he was told that his left hip was the biggest concern at the moment and he would need to undergo a left hip replacement, alongside a right knee replacement in staged procedures.
In August 2015, Alan returned to hospital where he underwent a left hip replacement. He remained in hospital for two days before being discharged to recover at home.
Just over a week after his operation, he noticed that his wound was still leaking and decided to make a same-day appointment with his local GP. At the appointment, Alan told his GP he would like to be referred back to the hospital for his wound to be examined. However, his GP told him it could be dealt with at home and he was given a course of antibiotics.
Despite taking the course of antibiotics, Alan’s wound didn’t appear to be getting any better and he returned to his GP on several occasions. Throughout the next month, he was prescribed a further two courses of antibiotics.
At the end of September, Alan’s wife rang the out of hours GP as his wound was still showing signs of infection and causing him a considerable amount of pain. He was visited by the locum GP at his home, who prescribed further antibiotics and advised him to make an urgent appointment with his own GP to have the wound redressed.
Over the next couple of months, Alan returned to his GP on many occasions to have his wound redressed and pick up his new prescriptions of antibiotics.
In November, Alan attended an appointment at another hospital for a consultation with his surgeon. Unfortunately, he was advised the appointments for that day were running significantly behind and he would need to make an alternative appointment.
Alan was scheduled in for another appointment in January 2016 with his surgeon. After waiting for his scheduled appointment, he was advised by a nurse they were once again running behind and would not be able to see everyone that day. Alan was in quite a bit of pain at this point and therefore re-arranged his appointment for two weeks later.
Two weeks on, Alan attended his hospital appointment and was examined by his surgeon. The surgeon was happy with how the wound was now healing following the latest course of antibiotics, however, Alan was sent for blood tests to determine why the wound had taken so long to heal. He was also set for an x-ray too.
The following week, Alan started to experience severe pain in his left hip and contacted 111, who advised he monitor the pain and if it continued to increase, call for an ambulance. The next day the pain had become so severe; Alan thought it necessary to call for an ambulance and subsequently was taken to hospital, where he was admitted.
Alan was treated for a deep-seated infection. After being in hospital for a few days, Alan was taken to theatre and advised that his left hip replacement would now need to be removed.
Post-operatively, Alan was informed the hip replacement had been successfully removed and once it had healed, he would be scheduled in to have a replacement hip fitted once again. Once discharged and back at home, Alan was visited by nurses daily who administered intravenous and oral antibiotics.
After his experience with his hip replacement, Alan contacted Fletchers to bring a medical negligence claim for the delay in diagnosing his infection and prolonged recovery period. We handled Alan’s claim and after it was admitted by the Trust that Alan should have been reviewed six weeks post-operatively where he would have been diagnosed with a wound infection. The Trust apologised for the failures and we settled Alan’s case for a five-figure sum.
Alan is now continuing his treatment and recovery journey under the NHS.
Amy Kirk, a medical negligence lawyer at Fletchers, handled Alan’s case and said
Here at Fletchers, we put our customers at the heart of everything we do and ensure we listen to and respect their wishes. I hope the early settlement in Alan’s case really helps him with his day-to-day life and his future.