In each issue, where we can’t cover cases in full, we attempt to cover them in brief. Below are cases covered in brief in Issue 3, November 2019.

Lesforis v Tolias [2019] EWCA Civ 487 – appeal against a decision of Martin Spencer J in which, following a full liability trial, he had concluded that a consultant neurosurgeon had been negligent in giving an inappropriately early prescription of antithrombotic medication to the respondent, which caused or materially contributed to the formation of a haematoma, leading to spinal cord compression and neurological deficit. Ground of appeal was that the judge failed to directly address the case that the relevant question was not whether Mr Tolias’ general practice of giving antithrombotic medication within 6 hours was a breach, but whether giving such medication to this patient within 3 hours was a breach given risk factors in her case. Appeal dismissed. 

Ahmed v The General Medical Council [2019] EWHC 2173 (Admin) – appeal against an erasure decision on the basis that the tribunal was wrong to find that he made knowingly false statements and that he acted dishonestly. Appeal dismissed, issues were predominantly factual. 

AXO v Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1454 (QB) – causation only trial. Issue was whether a negligent overdose of a muscle relaxant given to a newborn caused brain damage leading to cerebral palsy. Yip J found that, on a close analysis of the evidence, there was insufficient evidence to establish a causal link. 

Bell v Bedford Hospital NHS Trust [2019] EWHC 2704 (QB) – The Claimant alleged that there was a failure to diagnose transient ischaemic attacks and, had they been diagnosed, she would not have suffered a major stroke which left her with significant disabilities. Judge found in C’s favour on breach but found that, even if TIA had been diagnosed, the advice and medication given to C would have been the same as what she had already received and she had not managed to change her lifestyle (e.g. quit smoking, weight loss) and her compliance with medication was poor. Therefore C failed to prove causation. 

Boyle v West Calder Medical Practice [2019] 8 WLUK 32 – A failure by a GP to diagnose Cushing’s disease was not negligent – it was rare and difficult to diagnose. 

Dootson v Newhouse [2019] 10 WLUK 329 – Defendant GP applied for relief from sanctions arising from late service of a witness statement. Breach was significant – 5 and a half months – and there was no good reason for the breach. However, the judge found that it would not affect the trial date, the Claimant had sufficient time to consider the statement, and the trial judge would want to see the statement. Therefore relief was allowed. 

Flanaghan v University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust [2019] EWHC 1898 (QB) – liability and causation in issue, allegations related to spinal surgery. Fact-specific judgment in favour of Defendant. 

Okpara v General Medical Council [2019] EWHC 2624 (Admin) – MPTS had not erred in upholding allegations against a doctor of sexually motivated misconduct towards a nurse. It had also not erred in finding that erasure was the correct sanction. 

Rai v University Hospitals Coventry And Warwickshire NHS Trust [2019] EWHC 2488 (QB) – Claimant alleged that, following a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, there was a failure to diagnose and manage a post-op staple line leak. By the time it was diagnosed she was suffering with severe abdominal sepsis. She also suffered a persistent fistula and lengthy complex treatment, all of which was avoidable. The judge found against the Claimant on breach and causation. 

RXK v Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 2751 (QB) – Claimant’s application for a further interim payment on account of quantum costs. Master Cook adjourned the application on the basis that it did not address the relevant issues, but provided guidance as to what ought to be considered in these sorts of applications.