Alleged Scarborough Hospital blunder leaves girl, 14, in wheelchair

Scarborough Hospital.  12 january 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Scarborough Hospital. 12 january 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Lawyers for a Scarborough schoolgirl who say blunders by staff at her local hospital left her in a wheelchair are now suing for massive compensation on her behalf.

Doctors at Scarborough Hospital failed to diagnose a serious hip injury to the girl, now 14, during examinations over a period of almost two years, a High Court writ claims.

She has been left with one leg six centimetres shorter than the other, and severe mobility problems, and now needs crutches or a wheelchair to get around, it is claimed.

She will be permanently wheelchair dependent by the time she is middle-aged and her problems have had a devastating impact on her education, her legal team adds.

Through her mother, the girl is now suing the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, claiming she was a victim of medical negligence.

In the writ, the family’s barrister, Jeremy Roussak, says the girl was ten in 2011 when she was referred for X-rays to Scarborough Hospital.

Nothing untoward was revealed, but the girl continued to suffer hip pain.

She was seen again at the hospital in January 2012, and again the painful hip was recorded as being “normal”, the writ states.

In fact, Mr Roussak says she had suffered a severe slipped upper femoral epiphysis - a condition in which the top of the thigh bone becomes disconnected from the hip.

The condition was finally diagnosed after an A&E visit in March 2012 but, by then, complications had set in which have blighted the girl’s life.

She has had to undergo repeated surgical procedures and will need a hip replacement “in her late teens,” Mr Roussak says.

That artificial hip will fail and is likely to became unrepairable by the time she is in her forties, meaning she will at that stage be confined to a wheelchair, the writ states.

Of the impact on her future, Mr Roussak added: “She missed more than two years of schooling and her possible educational achievement is therefore most uncertain.

“Accurate assessment of her future likely losses is impossible at this stage.”

Mr Roussak also states in the writ that the NHS trust’s solicitors have “admitted liability for the claimant’s injury” in writing.

The NHS Trust’s defence to the action was not available from the court, and the contents of the writ have yet to be tested in evidence before a judge.