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Mum wins negligence claim after it was proved her son should not have died

59 year old Pauline Smith, from Dukinfield, has won a claim of medical negligence against Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust following the death of her 33 year old son.

A father of three, Scott Broadbent had an initial consultation when he moved to a new GP practice and mentioned that he had a limp. Referred to a physiotherapist, the physio identified a problem with his hip advising that he should have it looked at.

Following a mobile scan, Scott, previously a production operative at Tulip Foods, was advised that he might have a cancerous growth on his hip and a biopsy was arranged to investigate this.

Attending the follow up appointment with his mother Pauline, they were surprised to be told that the planned biopsy was not required and the consultant instead informed them that Scott was booked in for surgery.

Explaining the chain of events leading to his death, Scott’s mum Pauline Smith said: “The consultant was very dismissive and Scott and I were bundled out after a short consultation. We were worried that he might have cancer but as the planned biopsy was not going to take place after all, we assumed that this meant that the growth must have been benign.

“Scott’s surgery was cancelled on two separate occasions. When it finally went ahead, he was told by medical staff that the hospital would miss its targets if they cancelled it again and they cancelled another patient’s appointment to allow his surgery to finally go ahead.”

He was not advised of the potential risks of the surgery but was told it was a straight forward procedure and he could expect to be discharged on the same day. Following his operation however, he experienced extreme pain and had to remain in hospital for a total of three nights.

During his stay he was not provided with stockings nor anticoagulants to prevent blood clots. He had stitches and staples in the affected area but went home with only painkillers.

His mum Pauline continued: “Scott was my only child by choice, he was my best friend. Even though he was screaming in agony after his operation he didn’t like to make a fuss and they sent him home. We were all surprised that he hadn’t been given either stockings or anticoagulants after his hip surgery.

“In the few days after, his leg became red and swollen and he was waiting for a follow up appointment to have his stitches and staples removed, in the meantime, his skin had started to grow over them. The day before he died he said he was going to the MRI to finally have them removed. He died the following day having woken up unable to feel his leg or put his foot down.”

Representing Scott’s mum Pauline Smith and partner Donna Hill, medical negligence solicitor Julia Bridges at Linder Myers said: “Scott developed deep vein thrombosis leading to a pulmonary embolism which caused his untimely death just three weeks after his surgery. A verdict of misadventure was recorded at the inquest into his death which took place in September 2013.

“The hospital involved admitted that it had failed to either provide stockings or anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from developing. Scott was still a young man who was very committed to supporting his mum, partner and three children.

“My clients have received an apology from the medical staff involved however, it took 14 months from an Incident Investigation Report into Scott’s death being finalised and my clients receiving an admission from the NHSLA that the Trust’s breach of duty had caused his death adding further unnecessary distress.

“I understand that positive action has been taken since then to prevent any further incidents of this type. Pauline was invited to take part in a training video which is still being used during inductions at the Manchester Royal Infirmary for all new staff.”

Pauline concluded: “Scott’s children have been significantly traumatised by his death and we just want lessons to be learned so this doesn’t happen again.”

Scott leaves three children aged 17, 10 and 5.

Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability and a six figure settlement was reached.

Find our more about our Medical Negligence department

Written by Julia Bridges. Find out more about Julia here. 

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