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AIBU?

AIBU to sue the NHS for medical negligence in which my Dad died.

227 replies

Fedupofdiets · 27/01/2024 21:14

My beloved Dad died last year from multi-organ failure due to sepsis and DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) in an NHS hospital. We had take him to hospital with a deteriorating foot wound secondary to his diabetes and staff failed to spot the signs of sepsis and also failed to do a blood test and discharged him home despite a high blood sugar reading and known cardiac issues. He was readmitted 2 day later as he deteriorated and died from multi organ failure. I raised a complaint which then turned into an investigation from which I had the report in November. I have only recently been able to bring myself to read it - they admit that had had they treated him on the first admission there is a chance his death could have been avoided (the report is very long and very technical but I am a HCP so understand what happened).

I have contacted a Solicitor and given the info they have said that there is evidence that would support a claim of litigation against the trust. I am however in two minds whether to pursue it, on one hand I don't want to add to my pain (I will be the driving force behind the claim my siblings do not know although my Mother fully supports it). The other part of me wants my Fathers name on their lips - he was in his 60s and did not deserve to die alone without his family due to their negligence. My Mother is also working FT in a minimum wage care job (70 this year) and hell yes any money would be great for her.

So my question is WWYD leave it be or pursue a claim?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

805 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
23%
You are NOT being unreasonable
77%
MyGooseisTotallyLoose · 27/01/2024 21:16

How long was he in hospital for? Was his diabetes usually difficult to manage?

Allofaflutter · 27/01/2024 21:18

Do it. Otherwise they just get away with it.

Fedupofdiets · 27/01/2024 21:18

MyGooseisTotallyLoose · 27/01/2024 21:16

How long was he in hospital for? Was his diabetes usually difficult to manage?

He was in for 3 days before he died and yes his diabetes was poorly controlled. He had been diabetic for around 30 years.

OP posts:
MamaGhina · 27/01/2024 21:18

I had a valid claim against the nhs. They upheld my complaint and designed a training programme for staff adding steps to stop it happening again. For me that was enough and I didn’t sue.
That said I walked away with my life. Only you can decide if the emotional cost will be worth the fight. Sorry for your loss OP.

Allthecatseverywhereallatonce · 27/01/2024 21:19

I am so sorry to hear about your father. Sadly we are seeing this more and more and I am not wholly surprised as an NHS HCP I am constantly raising concerns, everyone is so pressured.
You need to do whatever feels right for you. I can understand why you want to take this further particularly as they have admitted that your father may not have died.
We are supposed to learn from these incidents but the truth is, the pressure is so high it is impossible to keep patients safe. I can't believe how bad the level of care is now.

Shf · 27/01/2024 21:20

Do it. I always thought badly of people who ‘sue’ the NHS but then someone didn’t refer FIL when he had a mass in his stomach, even though they should have, and nothing was caught until he had secondary cancer in his lung and there was nothing they could do about it.

Its about making them aware, and feeling like we had some recognition for the fact that he could possibly have lived after a primary cancer that could have been operable at an earlier stage.

If you want to, do it. I’m very sorry for your loss.

Youcannotbeseriousreally · 27/01/2024 21:21

I’m so sorry for your loss. Whilst I appreciate you want answers and payback, obviously suing the NHS just means less money in the system to help other people. My moral compass wouldn’t let me do that, it won’t bring your dad back and I’m sure you don’t want other people to suffer too.

Fedupofdiets · 27/01/2024 21:21

@Allthecatseverywhereallatonce Me too I am a Nurse and I knew the care was bad, I tried so hard to get anybody to listen (OOH GP, his own GP and A&E a few days before he died) and honestly it was like a brick wall. The RCA is extensive, the patient safety team did a thorough investigation but the report is damning really and it is a devastating read as I knew it would be.

OP posts:
Gruffallowhydidntyouknow · 27/01/2024 21:23

Don't do it.

ThreePointOneFourOneFiveNine · 27/01/2024 21:24

Do it. My friend's mum died due to NHS neglect, about ten years ago I think. Her dad sued and won. It's not about the money, it's about it being the closest thing to justice you can get. It can help you come to terms with things knowing that the law takes your side if that makes sense.

I'm so sorry about you dad. That's too young to die.

LadyLolaRuben · 27/01/2024 21:25

Hi, NHS director here specialising in neglience claims. Yes make the claim. If the hospital feels it has a case to answer it will pay out without going to court. Your solicitor will do all the leg work for you

Fedupofdiets · 27/01/2024 21:25

@Youcannotbeseriousreally Yes you are right and it will not bring him back that is the toughest part. I agree about the money and that is what is the tough part. I want the people who fobbed him off to know though that they made huge mistakes which robbed my family and meant my Dad died a terrible painful death alone without us there. I want to hit them where it hurts. I am very angry as you can tell.

OP posts:
Res_Ipsa · 27/01/2024 21:25

Firstly, I am so sorry for your loss.

My sepsis was also not spotted. Thankfully, I survived, but it is scary how common this is. The NHS needs to face up to the fact that this is a huge issue which needs to be sorted.

I think you absolutely should pursue an action in negligence. It isn't just about compensation, it's about the Trust recognising something has gone wrong and being forced to take measures for future incidents. I made a formal complaint to my Trust, and as a result, they have implemented further training in sepsis recognition.

Mumof2NDers · 27/01/2024 21:26

Firstly, I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost by dad nearly 3 years ago and it still hurts terribly. Worse for you I imagine when you know the right care could have prevented his death.
As for suing, yes, I would to ease your mums financial burden.

ArnieLinson · 27/01/2024 21:27

interested to know the first letter of the hospital.

The same nearly happened to my dad. He was fobbed off for an entire summer until he collapsed in hospital corridors. Multiply organ failure, so classic sepsis signs. Amazing, he recovered. None of the doctors excepted him to. But it wasnt until months later that a locum gp casually mentioned it was sepsis.

my relatives baby, same hospital, admitted, bloods taken but then forgotten about. Sepsis again.

I also had a valid claim after giving birth.

Honestly, id take it further.

there needs to be accountability.

MissHavershamReturns · 27/01/2024 21:27

Op I’m so sorry about the loss of your father.

You might want to talk to the AVMA charity helpline. They are very good for discussing this kind of question and exist to offer emotional support in situations like this.

wafflingworrier · 27/01/2024 21:28

Our NHS is already in its knees, don't bite the hand that feeds you or in this case looks after you when you are sick.
They made a mistake. It is tragic but they are human.
If you rob the NHS of more money you become part of the problem, not the solution. Why not campaign for better funding in your father's memory instead?

wafflingworrier · 27/01/2024 21:29

ArnieLinson · 27/01/2024 21:27

interested to know the first letter of the hospital.

The same nearly happened to my dad. He was fobbed off for an entire summer until he collapsed in hospital corridors. Multiply organ failure, so classic sepsis signs. Amazing, he recovered. None of the doctors excepted him to. But it wasnt until months later that a locum gp casually mentioned it was sepsis.

my relatives baby, same hospital, admitted, bloods taken but then forgotten about. Sepsis again.

I also had a valid claim after giving birth.

Honestly, id take it further.

there needs to be accountability.

There is accountability here though, they have investigated and already found what they did wrong.

LeroyJenkinssss · 27/01/2024 21:30

I think there are two aspects. Firstly what do you want in terms of outcome? If it’s improved, compliance with sepsis six etc then continuing down the path of complaint would be sufficient.

secondly, if finance is an important factor, what figure would make it worthwhile? I don’t mean to be horrible but once in the realm of litigation, they could potentially bring in a financial assessor who literally values your father’s economic worth. It is an incredibly brutal process and if someone has significant comorbidities and low future earning potential (you don’t say if your dad was working or past retirement age) the figure can sometimes be shockingly low. Having said that, the trust may offer a no fault settlement which may be higher prior to this happening, but it is likely that it will stipulate no fault and it’s whether you’d accept that.

I am so sorry for your loss. If I were you, I’d pursue the first option of pushing hard for a continued policy change/lessons learnt path.

Allthecatseverywhereallatonce · 27/01/2024 21:31

@Fedupofdiets I am often involved in RCA and have been to the coroners court.I wish I could say I have seen meaningful change but it is not possible.
The current level of staffing is criminal we literally have extra beds in cupboards/recovery areas and x-ray corridors. Tell me how we can keep people safe. It is always nurses looking after these patients in dangerous areas. No body listens to us raising concerns. I worry everyday about something going wrong, it will no matter how hard we work or how many breaks we miss.

People have this view of not suing the NHS and I used to agree but it is a way to make the NHS management act more effectively. Most people don't sue because of this notion of not taking money away from it. We need to raise the profile on how dangerous it is to be in hospital. Your dad deserves this. You say it was difficult to read the RCA are we talking about basic mistakes? Or is it systemic.
It breaks me daily to go into work but I worry about leaving another vacancy.
I would take it further.

InAMess2023 · 27/01/2024 21:31

Just to add in here that any money paid out isn't coming from the public purse and therefore depriving others of care etc. NHS Trusts have extensive indemnity in place for legal issues and it's dealt with completely separately from the commissioning budgets which pay for patient care

DyslexicPoster · 27/01/2024 21:32

Allofaflutter · 27/01/2024 21:18

Do it. Otherwise they just get away with it.

This

Gloryloroliesjo · 27/01/2024 21:32

If you have the stuffing to deal with the process I would say definitely. The NHS really needs to be more accountable and unfortunately people just haven’t got the energy to fight !

LeroyJenkinssss · 27/01/2024 21:33

@Fedupofdiets just read your last post and I totally understand your anger but litigation won’t achieve that. It will primarily be dealt with by the legal team and, if anyone who was involved left, they would no longer have any involvement in the case. They won’t receive any personal penalty and given litigation can take 5yrs plus may well move on from that trust in the interim.

Fedupofdiets · 27/01/2024 21:34

Thanks for the replies, as I thought mixed responses. Suing feels like getting justice as it hits the Trust where it hurts, an investigation and an apology doesn't it is just bullshit. I know what it is like when a complaint comes in everybody just passes it around like a hot potato hoping they weren't involved in it and tomorrow it is forgotten, he is forgotten. I do want 'justice' I took my Dad to hospital to be cared for and yet their negligence very possibly killed him. Morally maybe not the right thing to do but I am not sure I care that much about morals at the minute.

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