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2nd Jul

Ms M suffered from glaucoma and was under the care of the eye department at Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust for many years.

Despite her eyesight in her left eye deteriorating over a number of years no treatment was offered other than repeated prescriptions of eyedrops that were in fact irritating her eyes. The vision in her left eye deteriorated to the point of blindness and her right eye was impacted also. Eventually an optician recommended that she seek a second opinion at which time she paid to see a Manchester glaucoma specialist privately. The specialist was horrified by the state of her eyes and immediately terminated the eyedrop prescription and recommended urgent surgery to try to save her eyesight.  His view was that she should have been offered surgery years earlier and should not have been taking those eyedrops.

A friend of hers recommended Aston Knight and we accepted the case.  We first secured specialist expert evidence from perhaps the Country’s leading glaucoma specialist who, agreeing with her Manchester private surgeon, considered that her various treating eye doctors at Tameside had been negligent in: failing to offer surgery; prescribing medication that was irritating her eyes and thereby reducing the prospects of surgery working; failing to adequately monitor her eye pressures, and more. Tragically, he was also of the view that the damage done by their negligence was permanent and that her vision would continue to deteriorate as a result.

As her damaged vision impacted how she could use her home, and look after herself, we also obtained specialist expert evidence from both an accommodation expert and a care and occupational therapy needs expert.

Tameside’s representatives admitted most of the negligence allegations but not how much damage had been caused as a result. They obtained their own independent eye specialist expert report.

As a result of no acceptable settlement proposals being made we issued court proceedings which led to negotiations taking place and, ultimately, a strong settlement of £575,000.

We also obtained an interim payment (being an upfront compensation of payment whilst settlement negotiations are ongoing) of £125,000 which enabled Ms M to enjoy some of her compensation earlier which was important and beneficial to her in light of her age.

Solicitor James Winterbottom who dealt with the case commented:

“Although this is a great result on paper, being a figure likely higher than what a court would award, the impact of losing so much eyesight is such that no amount of money can adequately address that. We often hear much praise for the NHS, which is in some circumstances justified, but to the best of our knowledge there has been no action towards, or changes to, this eye department, or consequences for those who failed her so terribly. The NHS needs to face up to these issues – a denial culture of “moving on” from tragic incidents such as this only puts more people at risk. Here the view of the specialist experts was that multiple doctors had failed her i.e. the entire department was not fit for purpose – how many more people have they harmed, or indeed continue to harm, and when if ever will there be consequences?”

Please feel free to get in touch should you wish to discuss a matter with us.  We offer a free, no-obligation and confidential initial consultation for all potential personal injury and clinical negligence matters and are happy to take on cases from other firms including failed/closed cases.

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