Spinal Surgery

Henry v Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2020] EWHC 3306 (QB) This claim concerned posterior instrumental fusion surgery which took place on 22 July 2010. The Claimant alleged that there was failure to recognise misplacement of the L5 pedicle screw, either intra-operatively, in the immediate post-operative period or longer…

Bolam, Bolitho, or Both-of-‘Em?

Bradfield-Kay v Cope [2020] EWHC 1351 (QB)  This article originally appeared in Issue 6 (September 2020). This split trial on breach of duty concerned allegations relating to the performance of a total left hip replacement by the Defendant. Of interest is the approach taken by the judge to the distinction…

Monitoring During Labour

NKX v Barts Health NHS Trust [2020] EWHC 839 (QB)  This article originally appeared in Issue 6 (September 2020). The Facts  This was a liability only hearing where the Claimant alleged that his mother was given insufficient warning that she should have continuous fetal monitoring (“CFM”) when she was in…

Duty to Tell a Child About Risk of Genetic Condition?

ABC v St George's Healthcare NHS Trust & Ors [2020] EWHC 455 (QB)  This article originally appeared in Issue 5 (May 2020). This fascinating judgment of Yip J considers whether the Defendants had a duty of care to alert the Claimant (“ABC”) to the risk that she had inherited the…

PPE Provision

One of the totemic issues that has emerged over recent weeks as part of the COVID-19 pandemic is the provision of ‘appropriate’ and ‘sufficient’ Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”), above all to those providing hands-on care to patients in hospital and to residents in care homes.  Leaving aside criminal liability for…

Legal Immunity in the Covid-19 Pandemic?

It was reported over the weekend of 18-19 April 2020 that the Medical Defence Union (“MDU”), which provides legal support to around 200,000 doctors, was calling for a debate on the need for emergency legislation to protect doctors from negligence claims arising from the COVID-19 emergency.  The particular concerns raised…

(Not So) NICE Guidelines?

Sanderson v Guy's and Thomas' NHS Foundation [2020] EWHC 20 (QB)  This article originally appeared in Issue 4 (March 2020). This judgment, delivered by Lambert J on 10 January 2020, is of particular interest for her consideration of the NICE Guidelines and their utility in establishing breach of duty. This specific…

Assessing the Standard of Care – Past or Present?

Jones v Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1408 (QB)  This article originally appeared in Issue 3 (November 2019). It is trite law that if a doctor acts in accordance with a responsible body of medical opinion at the time of the treatment, their actions are not negligent,…