King’s Mill Hospital payout after woman’s hip injury is missed

King's Mill Hospital
King's Mill Hospital

A woman was left in agony with a broken hip for 10 weeks after King’s Mill Hospital staff failed to spot her injury and put her excruciating pain down to sciatica.

The woman, who was aged 53 at the time, had to have a full hip replacement when the break was eventually diagnosed as, by that time, her hip had displaced and effectively died.

Had the break been detected earlier, experts said it could have been fixed with two or three screws, avoiding major surgery.

The patient has now received a “profuse apology” from Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Sutton hospital, where she was treated.

It comes as the trust has admitted liability for the error and agreed to pay her £17,000 in damages after she pursued a claim through negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors.

The woman, who has declined to be named, had initially felt discomfort after lifting heavy boxes at work, and went to her GP, who diagnosed a pulled muscle.

Three weeks later, she went to casualty at King’s Mill, as she was struggling to walk and was in agony, and she was admitted for tests.

The patient claimed she told the doctors her pain was not in her back, saying she “was not listened to”, resulting in an MRI being carried out on her spine, which did not detect anything abnormal.

Hudgells said she was then sent to the radiology department for a scan of her right leg, only for a radiologist to decide a scan was not necessary, sending her back to be reviewed by an emergency department consultant.

The patient was finally discharged two days later without any follow-up appointments being made, despite still being unable to bear weight on her leg.

Hudgells said she was advised to see her GP if she had any more problems and had two sessions with a physiotherapist who said he thought it was her right hip, not her back, causing the problems.

When she went returned to her GP 10 weeks later, in January, 2013, to get a sick note for work, the woman asked for a second opinion as she was still in agony and was sent to Ilkeston Hospital the same day.

There, an X-ray showed the broken hip.

She had a full hip replacement operation the next day.

An independent orthopedic surgeon said she may now need further hip surgery in 20 years.

The woman said: “I feel angry with the hospital, I couldn’t do anything for 10 weeks. I couldn’t work and I had to sleep in a chair as I couldn’t get comfortable lying down. I was in agony.”

A trust spokesman said: “The trust has settled a claim for compensation of £17,000.”