Our client had long-standing hip degeneration and eventually was told she needed a total hip replacement. She had the operation at St Richard’s Hospital in Worthing, East Sussex and initially seemed to be recovering well. However, after her discharge from hospital, she found her pain was increasing and her mobility getting worse. The wound was infected and investigations revealed she had acquired an MRSA infection whilst in hospital at the site of the surgery in her hip.
She was re-admitted to hospital, treated with antibiotics and then underwent several procedures to debride and wash out the wound. She was discharged again after 10 days, still on antibiotics, but continued to deteriorate and a couple of months later was admitted a third time. She then spent several months in hospital with an extensive infection that took a long time to be controlled by antibiotics.
Her mobility was very restricted because she was in so much pain but, as a result of admitted failings in her nursing care, our client developed a series of pressure sores and suffered several falls - both at St Richard’s and Southlands Hospital where she was transferred for rehabilitation.
With expert evidence, we established that the management of this lady’s hip replacement was probably acceptable. The nursing care, however, was plainly substandard and the NHS Litigation Authority admitted at an early stage that our client’s pressure sores should not have been allowed to develop and she should not have suffered the falls.
The pressure sores have resulted in very thin skin that requires constant vigilance on our client’s part, for which she is reliant on her husband’s care to ensure that the affected areas remain clean and moisturised to try to avoid further sores developing. Even so, she continues to experiences recurrent episodes where the skin breaks and is at risk of deteriorating further. This will continue for the rest of her life. The claim has settled for £27,500 plus our client’s legal costs.