A seventy year old woman has been awarded £35,000 compensation for negligence surgery at Basildon Hospital by a judge at the High Court.
Catherine King from Buckhurst Hill in London attended the Basildon Hospital in October 2009 to have plaque removed from an artery. During the operation, a nerve was damaged that left Catherine with a “weak, husky and painful” voice – described by her husband as “ a very quiet, very hoarse whisper”.
The injury to her voice made it difficult for Catherine to continue her job as a warden in a sheltered accommodation facility. In addition to being unable to help the elderly residents who were hard of hearing, Catherine was unable to use the telephone or sing in her local church choir.
After seeking legal advice, Catherine claimed compensation for negligent surgery at Basildon Hospital. However, her claim was contested by the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who argued that the injury was most likely the result of a subsequent blood clot rather than negligent surgery.
Catherine took her claim for compensation for negligent surgery at Basildon Hospital to the High Court in London; where she told Mr Justice Robert Jay that she was aware her voice was weak after the surgery, but “did not want to make a fuss about it and took it to be a normal reaction”. The judge also heard that Catherine felt socially handicapped due to not being able to use the telephone.
The judge dismissed the NHS Trust´s defence that her injury was more likely due to a blood clot that had formed after the procedure and was “part and parcel of a recognised complication” and said that, on the balance of probabilities, Catherine´s injury was more likely caused by a surgical error. Having found in her favour, Mr Justice Robert Jay awarded Catherine £35,000 compensation for negligent surgery at Basildon Hospital.