Case Studies: Healthcare

Neurology Patient Recall Victim Recovers £37,000

O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors recently obtained a settlement of £37,000.00 on behalf of our client who suffered significant injuries due to the negligent management of her Multiple Sclerosis between 2010 and 2017. Claire Hunt dealt with the matter.

Our client began experiencing strange sensations in her legs and recurrent tingling sensations elsewhere in 2009. She was also unsteady on her feet. Her GP therefore referred her to a Consultant Neurologist, Dr Michael Watt, at The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast in March 2010 at which stage she underwent an MRI of her brain and was diagnosed as suffering from Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). She was also commenced on drug modifying treatment (Interferon) and underwent two further MRI scans in April 2012 and November 2012. Thereafter various changes and adjustments were made to our client’s medication regime although she did not undergo any further MRI scans.

Our client subsequently came under the care of a different Consultant Neurologist during the course of The Neurology Patient Recall initiated by The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. She first attended her new Consultant Neurologist in December 2017 at which stage it was noted that she had not been receiving any drug modifying treatment since September that year. She was therefore commenced on Tecfidera and a further MRI scan was arranged and took place in March 2018. This indicated that there were seven new lesions present since the last MRI taken in November 2012. Our client also underwent an MRI scan of the whole spine in August 2018 which showed an additional two lesions since the same type of MRI scan had been completed in 2009.

Our client’s new Consultant Neurologist therefore identified a number of issues in respect of the management and prescription plan for our client e.g. that she would not have diagnosed RRMS in 2010 and there was a failure to carry out regular MRI scans in order to track the development of our client’s condition.

In light of the above, our client instructed us to investigate the standard of treatment which she had received. As such, we obtained copies of her clinical records and instructed an independent Consultant Neurologist based outside Northern Ireland. It was our expert’s opinion that the treatment which our client received fell below the standards to be expected and that Dr Watt had failed to examine our client at any stage. Our expert was also critical of the failure to arrange further MRI scans between 2012 and 2018 and considered that our client had received excessive courses of intravenous Methylprednisolone.

We also then obtained a further report from an independent Consultant Psychiatrist based in Northern Ireland who confirmed that our client had suffered significant psychological upset including profound health anxiety and sleep disturbance for an extended period of time in addition to decreased self-confidence and a loss of trust in the medical profession which was ongoing.
The Defendant’s representatives were willing to enter into a Standstill Agreement extending the statutory time limit for our client to pursue her case and as such, it was not necessary to enter into Court proceedings. Settlement negotiations were commenced in mid-2023 and ultimately it was agreed that our client would receive £37,000.00 encompassing awards in respect of the avoidable pain, suffering and inconvenience which she had endured and the private counselling fees which she would incur.

Commenting on the settlement of her case, our client said: “The correspondence throughout the process was impeccable. Claire did everything for me and the end result was better than I could have imagined. I am just blown away with the services of O’Reilly Stewart and Claire most importantly. Thank you.”

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