Six-figure payout for Atworth pensioner disabled by RUH bungle
Updated 10:46am Wednesday 2nd July 2014 in By Adam Care
An Atworth pensioner has received a six-figure payout from the Royal United Hospital in Bath, after he was left permanently disabled after being discharged early.
Anthony Slee, 71, of Godwins Close, was told he had gout and sent home from the hospital in February 2010.
His wife Judith made repeated calls for assistance as his condition rapidly deteriorated, and he was admitted to the intensive care unit in a critical condition for three weeks.
The former newsagent was eventually diagnosed with a bacterial infection, which could have been treated with antibiotics.
After a lengthy recovery period which included a nine-and-a-half hour lifesaving operation, he was left with limited mobility in his leg and wrist.
He said: “In total I have undergone 18 operations and my kidney function is now impaired and I am on permanent diuretics medication.
“ I can’t walk without a walking stick and I have very limited use of my hand and wrist so I struggle to do simple things like holding cutlery and fastening buttons on my clothes.“
The couple, who moved to the village from Bath in 2006, have had to redevelop their bungalow, and buy a new adapted car.
Mrs Snee had previously worked as a clerical assistant at the RUH, and said she knew straight away things were not right.
She said: “I complained right from the outset. I would not have brought him home; he wasn’t in a fit state.
“Large hospitals like the RUH leave their junior doctors in charge of weekends, and this is what happened to Anthony.
“It has all been a shambles, and it’s wrecked Anthony’s life and his health.
"He looks okay and he can walk through the village and go to Sainsbury’s, but he can’t go to town on his own, he can’t go to rugby matches, we can’t go to the theatre or the cinema, as when he sits down he has to support his leg.”
After the couple contacted medical lawyers Irwin Mitchell, the Bath NHS Trust agreed to pay an undisclosed six-figure sum as compensation.
Mrs Snee said: “For me it was about them recognising what they did wrong.
“We weren’t trying to win the lottery, although there are costs involved, but it was about recognising what they have done, and making sure it never happens again, but I don’t think they have learned their lesson.”
A spokesman for the RUH said: “We are sorry for the suffering and distress caused to Mr Slee following his admission to hospital in February 2010, and have agreed a settlement in relation to his claim.”