It is tragic when you hear stories of patients who have died or suffered serious injuries after a deterioration in their mental health symptoms. When this happens the individual has often been seen by various medical professionals beforehand and the opportunity to identify the increased risk of deliberate self-harm and/or suicide not identified. The inevitable question is could the individual’s death or serious injuries been avoided, had their earlier care been reasonable?
Nick Gray a solicitor within our Clinical Negligence department is acting for a young lady who suffered serious life-changing orthopaedic injuries after jumping/falling from a fly-over in Hull. The sad part of this story is that earlier the same day she had been in a similar position but after police officers were called they managed to talk her down and persuade her to attend a local hospital. When she arrived at the hospital there was a failure to assess her risk of further self-harm, after she presented following an earlier attempt to do so. In particular, the triage process (used to determine the degree of urgency in which she should be assessed by a doctor) was not completed correctly. Instead the hospital wrongly relied upon an electronic triage process after she had entered details of her symptoms into a self-service machine in the A&E Department reception. The independent expert instructed comments that no electronic system that can take into account all the information necessary to predict a patient’s future risk of deliberate self-harm or suicide, and thereby determine the urgency in which they should be seen. After being left alone in the A&E department waiting room without anybody seeing or talking to her for over an hour, she left and walked to a different fly-over where she jumped/fell resulting in serious injuries. Had she been able to talk to a doctor or nurse after attending the A&E Department for help it is likely all her injuries could have been prevented.
It should be possible to obtain answers for our client as to what treatment she should have received, the likely outcome had this been provided and compensation to help her adjust to the life-long injuries that she will now suffer with.
Our Clinical Negligence Department are here to support you when you have been let down by health care providers and professionals, contact us on 01482 323697 and we will happily discuss your case with you.