Between the ages of 43 and 52 Davina was under the care of the ophthalmology team at her local hospital. She was seen on a number of occasions for management of her glaucoma, a condition that ran within her family. Throughout this period of time, in spite of her intraocular pressure readings being excessively high, Davina was simply seen for occasional appointments.
It was alleged on Davina's behalf that her intraocular pressures should have been stabilised and she should have been seen at least every 6 months to ensure her pressures remained stable. In the event that her pressures were not stabilised she should have been advised to undergo surgery, which she would have accepted, and which would have preserved her sight. In addition, she was not copied in on a letter sent to her GP, against hospital policy, which made it clear that medication she had been given was to be taken on top of and not instead of existing medication that she had been prescribed, avoiding further damage to her eyesight. As a result of the alleged substandard treatment Davina was registered as partially sighted and was left significantly disabled. Her prognosis was extremely poor and she was expected to be rendered functionally blind within a matter of years.
Whilst the Defendant accepted that aspects of their care was substandard they initially denied that it had made a difference to the outcome. In spite of only making a partial admission, an initial offer of £250,000 was made by the Defendant but rejected.
Following exchange of expert evidence, including reports from experts in the fields of ophthalmology, care, occupational therapy, psychiatry and accountancy, a settlement meeting took place between the parties. A satisfactory resolution was not achieved but within a matter of days of the meeting, the Defendants made a substantial offer which was accepted.
At the end of the case Davina commented: “ When I initially lost my eyesight I was unsure if I should seek legal advice. I was busy just trying to cope with day to day living. I felt in my heart though that this should not have happened and that going forward I would need skilled help in order to retain my independence. I took up a recommendation and contacted Mark Bowman. When I first met Mark I felt that he understood my case and empathised with me. Mark always responded immediately to any emails or phone calls and kept me abreast of what was happening. He was professional but still interested and caring. The settlement figure will never replace my eyesight but it will give me an income and the ability to afford the assistance I need to live my life as fully as possible. I hope that the hospital will learn from the errors that were made and that no other people lose their sight”
Image credit: By WSHFT Communications (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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