In 2017, SM, who has chosen to remain anonymous, visited his GP complaining of pain in his right hand. He was diagnosed with dermatitis and prescribed antibiotics, but his condition quickly deteriorated to the point where he was unable to bend his middle finger.  

Returning to his GP the following day, he was referred to hospital with a suspected flexor sheath infection to his right middle finger – a type of infection which causes inflammation of the protective sheath that surrounds tendons, often resulting in swelling, pain, and tenderness.  

He was treated with intravenous Flucloxacillin, but further tests went on to reveal that he also had what is known as a ‘staph infection’, which needed immediate treatment. He was placed under general anaesthetic, and medical staff made a small incision in his right middle finger to wash out the wound. 

However, because the hospital failed to provide proper medical care and treatment for the infection, he was readmitted to the hospital on two further occasions. He underwent two additional surgical procedures on his middle finger.   

Due to the severity of his symptoms, he struggled to carry out his duties at work, and in 2022, his employment was terminated on grounds of capability.    

Despite undergoing further treatment, he suffers from constant, permanent pain in his right hand, reduced grip strength and psychological injuries.    

SM instructed clinical negligence lawyer Helen Cornforth from Thompsons Solicitors to investigate the care he received.  

Expert evidence was obtained from a number of experts, and it was alleged that had the antibiotic regime been adequate then there would have been complete resolution and only one operation would have been required. Due to the evidence, SM brought a legal claim for clinical negligence compensation against the hospital where he was treated. 

The hospital maintained their denial of liability throughout the case.   

A trial was scheduled to take place in April 2024, but Thompsons Solicitors successfully negotiated an out of court settlement agreement in the sum of £400,000. 

Commenting on the case, SM’s lawyer, Helen Cornforth, said: “This case highlights the significant and devastating consequences of failing to adequately treat an infection.  

“SM suffers from constant permanent pain, which affects his daily activities and resulted in the loss of his job, which he greatly enjoyed. 

“Whilst no amount of money will ever compensate him for what he has endured, his compensation will provide financial support for his ongoing care needs, as well as his significant loss of earnings.” 

SM added: “Such a long, drawn-out case as British Justice is, but my guiding light for the past few years was my solicitor, Helen Cornforth.  

“She kept me informed through the process in a timely, professional manner. I can’t thank Helen enough for her hard work in getting the correct outcome for me. A credit to Thompson Solicitors.”