A retired electrical engineer from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, who suffered deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a stroke after blood thinning medication was wrongly withheld, has received £25,000 in compensation with the help of Unite the Union and Thompsons Solicitors.
On 4 February 2018, Ken Tooby, a 76-year-old man from Bishop Auckland, was admitted to Darlington Memorial Hospital complaining of a severe cough and chest pain. Medical staff at the hospital failed to identify Mr Tooby’s increased risk factors for stroke and did not administer the blood thinning drug, warfarin, when they should have.
As a result, Mr Tooby suffered a stroke and DVT in his left arm just ten days after being admitted to hospital.
Mr Tooby turned to his trade union, Unite the Union, and national law firm, Thompsons Solicitors, to make a compensation claim.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust admitted withholding warfarin, and after detailed discussions between the parties, Thompsons was able to secure a £25,000 settlement.
Mr Tooby’s life expectancy has been reduced by around two and a half years because of his stroke. He has suffered numerous falls, has ongoing problems with his speech and has been unable to return to swimming, a hobby he loved doing before the incident. He has also sustained psychological injuries that have required treatment.
Mr Tooby said: “I've completely lost trust in medical services due to my experience. It has also severely impacted my confidence. I no longer enjoy socialising and tend to assume the worst if I have any health issues.
“My solicitor, Victoria, has been magnificent throughout. From being the calming and compassionate voice on the end of the phone, to keeping me up-to-date with legal proceedings, she’s been excellent.”
Victoria Clark, senior lawyer at Thompsons Solicitors, said: "This was a very distressing experience for our client – and one that was wholly avoidable.
“Ken was badly let down by Darlington Memorial Hospital. No satisfactory reason was given for withholding warfarin. They failed to identify both his increased risk factors for stroke and significant evidence of heart disease.
“We’re pleased that we could secure a positive outcome for Ken. We hope this provides some closure so that he can focus on his health now that financial concerns have been ameliorated.”