Woman Awarded Compensation for being Taken to the Wrong Hospital

A woman who was taken to a hospital rather than a specialist centre after suffering a stroke has been awarded compensation for being taken to the wrong hospital.

Lynne Horner (69) from Bolton in Greater Manchester had been retired for just a year when she suffered a serious stroke in July 2010. Her husband – David (71) – was quick to acknowledge the symptoms and immediately called the emergency services.

A rapid response paramedic arrived within ten minutes and confirmed that Lynne had suffered a stroke; but when an ambulance arrived three minutes later, the ambulance paramedic assessed that Lynne was recovering and, rather than take her to the specialist stroke centre at the Salford Royal Hospital, drove Lynne and David to the Royal Bolton Hospital instead.

Lynne remained at the Royal Bolton Hospital for more than two and a half hours before it was confirmed that she had suffered a right-sided stroke and she was transferred to the Salford Royal Hospital. However, by the time Lynne received thrombolysis treatment to reduce the blood clots, it was more than four hours after her stroke and the treatment was ineffective.

As a result of being taken to the wrong hospital, Lynne now has a permanent brain injury. She can no longer drive and is reliant on a wheelchair to move around. Lynne needs help from her husband to complete day-to-day chores and can no longer take foreign holidays as the couple had planned to do after her retirement.

After seeking legal advice, Lynne claimed compensation for being taken to the wrong hospital against the North West Ambulance Service. She claimed in her legal action that, had she been taken to the correct hospital, thrombolysis treatment would have been administered within ten minutes and she would have not have suffered a permanent neurological injury.

The North West Ambulance Service acknowledged its liability and earlier this month a court hearing was held for the assessment of damages. Lynne was awarded just over one million pounds compensation for being taken to the wrong hospital – money that will be used to cover the cost of specialist care and equipment, and to buy a new home adapted for wheelchair use.