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Growing health emergency could take more local lives than pandemic

Graysons is bracing itself for a tsunami of claims from non-COVID 19 patients and their families who have endured avoidable harm or even death in recent weeks.

Last updated on July 14th, 2020 at 12:00 pm


Carol Simpson, partner and head of medical negligence

The catastrophic situation – the size of which is only just starting to become apparent – is worsening every day as the health of hundreds of patients requiring urgent treatment for life-threatening conditions is put at further risk due to the city’s NHS services being prioritised for COVID-19.

We are already advising several potential cases, and are backing a nationwide campaign urging the NHS to re-open services as a matter of extreme urgency. Few cases highlight the worrying situation better than the experiences of our own client, Martin Ducksbury.

The 65-year-old was diagnosed with a tumour in his kidney in December 2019 and was set for an operation at the Hallamshire Hospital in April this year.

Martin Ducksbury already has progressive lung disease and is in the ‘high risk’ COVID-19 category. His cancer surgery – which he was told had been moved to the Northern General – was cancelled altogether as doctors were worried about him contracting COVID 19. He has been given no time frame for a rescheduled operation. He said:

“This is an incredibly stressful situation for my wife and me. We’ve been told the cancer is slow-growing but we’ve no idea how aggressive it is. We’ve been left feeling totally helpless.”


Martin Ducksbury

Many different areas of the UK are dealing with the situation far better than Sheffield.  For example, the Royal Marsden Hospital in London has established a segregation area for high-risk patients and has been performing operations satisfactorily.

Carol Simpson, partner and head of clinical negligence at Graysons, said:

“The Government must open up services to non-COVID 19 patients as a matter of extreme urgency. Whilst the intention to protect would-be patients from the risk of contracting COVID-19 is laudable, this now has to be balanced with the risk of not getting diagnosed with, or treated for, life-threatening conditions which are far more likely to harm or kill them.”

If you wish to pursue a medical negligence claim, please contact our experts now.  We can assess your case and advise on the potential of your claim.  You can also find out more about making a medical negligence claim on our web pages.

Click on the links below to see local press coverage of this story.

Yorkshire Live 9 July 2020

Derbyshire Times 10 July 2020


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