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Nicola-mod
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Category: Law
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My Mother suffers from wet age-related macular degeneration

Customer Question

My Mother suffers from wet age-related macular degeneration in one eye and is almost blind in the other. She has been treated at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital since 2010. 

We were advised at the outset that a monthly review would be required whereby a standard eye test would be carried out, a photograph of the inner eye would be taken and then a doctor would decide if a lucentis injection (to arrest the progress of the condition) would be required.

During the last few months the interval of the review has gone out from monthly to over two-monthly. The current situation is that after 9 weeks we cannot get an appointment or even an advance date to work with.

It is difficult to obtain any information from the hospital. They operate answer services that do not respond and leave telephones constantly ringing out. Recently they have left a recorded message that indicated that all appointments would be at least eight weeks apart.

There has been no direct advice to patients in relation to how they should proceed in relation to this degenerative condition. My 83 year old mother was recently referred to the A & E dept where she had to wait six hours for assistance.

My mother has a history of clinical depression and the fear of blindness is causing her great distress. 

Based upon past experience my mother needs an injection on or about every four to five months, although a consultant has indicated that this is not a reliable measure for this condition. This means that she is likely to need an injection any time now but the hospital cannot give us a date for normal service to be resumed. She was last seen by the clinic on October 15th!

I believe that the Royal Eye Hospital is neglecting my mother by not maintaining the service or advising her accordingly. She will definitely go blind in her remaining eye if nothing is done in the coming weeks! 

Could you please advise if we have a legal claim for neglect

David A XXXXXXX
XXXXX [email protected]


 


Optional Information: 
System of Law: England-and-Wales

Already Tried: 
This is the first request for legal support


 


Urgency: HIGH

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

May I ask if you have raised the issue to date with the consultant managing her care at the hospital or any other senior staff or her GP please?

Customer :

Yes I have tried but could not get past secretaries!

Customer :

WHAT'S HAPPENING???

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find another Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like to wait for an answer!

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

I see the previous expert has not replied - do you still need help?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes I still need help!

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Have you complained to anyone yet please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I have complained to my Mother's Consultant, Mr S Mahmood. We have complained to reception staff and yesterday I requested help from our MP.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You can do several things:

1) Complain to the NHS under the formal complaints procedure. Make sure you do this in writing.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can raise the matter with the relevant commissioning body such as the NHS England or a local CCG.

2) Complain to the Ombudsman

They are independent and can investigate your complaint for you. But you should have gone through step 1 first.

Their website is at: http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

3) Judicial Review

Any decision by a public body (which the NHS is) can be examined by a High Court Judge. The Judge would review the decision and decide whether they have the power to make the decision or whether the decision was reasonable.

For this you would need a Solicitor as there are Court procedures to follow.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

From the information supplied do I have a case against the hospital for being negligent? it would seem to me that they have ceased caring for my mother against what was planned!

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Without seeing all the evidence it would be hard to say but from what you have written it is possible.

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What further evidence do you need in order to decide if we have a claim of negligence?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I would need to see everything, but that would be unrealistic. But it appears on the face of it you have a claim. But bear in mind the rules for legal aid changed this year so it is highly unlikely you would get this.

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Would it be appropriate through the small claims court?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Not for negligence no. I assume your claim for damages would be in excess of £10,000 or personal injury in excess of £1000 it would not be small claim.

If it is less than the above it would be a small claim.

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If we were happy with £10000 damages would it be appropriate in the small claims court?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes it would be. That is the limit.

Alex

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Just a quick reminder, there is an unrated answer waiting for you here from the Professional.

If the Expert was helpful, rating their answer as satisfactory transfers your deposit to them – this is how the Expert is compensated.

To rate your answer, you can go to your question page, and click one of the five faces below the Expert's answer. Please be sure you are logged in with your username and password or you will not be able to view or rate your answer.

If you still need help with your question, please feel free to reply to the Expert on this question page. You may ask as many follow-up questions on the same question page as you need until you are satisfied.

Thank you,
Nicola

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