Northwick Park Hospital misses brain bleed leaving patient brain damaged | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Northwick Park Hospital misses brain bleed leaving patient brain damaged

Jonathan Zimmern was instructed by Mrs C, on behalf of her brother G, to investigate his claim against North West London Hospitals NHS Trust following their failure to diagnose a bleed on his brain, called a subdural haemorrhage, in June 2010.

One night in April 2010, G fell at home and lost consciousness for a few minutes. He was taken to the Royal Free Hospital by ambulance where he underwent a CT scan. He was discharged the following day. He underwent a series of investigations including and EEG which suggested some signs of epilepsy and an MRI was booked for later in June.

Just a couple of nights later, G had deteriorated and was complaining of headaches, nausea and vertigo that were so bad that his mother called an ambulance. He was subsequently taken to Northwick Park Hospital and a CT scan was booked for the following morning. Extraordinarily, another doctor cancelled this request when visiting G the following morning. G was discharged that day with no further tests.

G's condition continued to deteriorate and when he arrived home by ambulance he collapsed on the sofa. His elderly mother, in her 80's, was so worried about him that she slept on the floor next to him that evening.

The following day, G was taken to Northwick Park Hospital by ambulance. A CT scan was performed on arrival, which showed that he had suffered a subdural haemorrhage. He was transferred to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square where he underwent an emergency operation the next day to drain the blood on his brain. He required a six month inpatient stay at hospital.

As a result of the delay, G suffered brain damage and now requires almost constant supervision from his elderly mother. His memory is very poor and he requires prompting to undertake even the most basic activities of daily living. He is no longer able to drive or manage his own finances. His mother is unable to leave him on his own or go outside without supervision.

Jonathan Zimmern was approached by G's sister. He instructed a neurologist, neuroradiologist, neurosurgeon, A&E expert and care expert to comment on the care provided to G. Jonathan wrote a Letter of Claim to the Trust arguing that the CT scan arranged at Northwick Park and then cancelled should have been performed. Had this been performed, G would have undergone the emergency operation significantly earlier and would not have suffered brain damage.

The Trust denied liability and Jonathan issued court proceedings. Following a lengthy legal battle, he was able to negotiate a six-figure settlement for G.

Upon the completion of G's case, Mrs C said: "I would like to say how well Jonathan handled my brother's case. He would always explain everything that was happening in relation to the case to me, and always in layman's terms so that I understood how the case was progressing and developing.  I would be happy to recommend Jonathan to anyone who needs specialist legal advice.  My family and I are very happy with the final outcome of the case".

Image source: David Hawgood [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Contact us

For further information about hospital negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Jonathan Zimmern on 03304606779 or email


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