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Clinical negligence 
round-up

Dr Jock Mackenzie provides an overview of recent case law, ?including a decision on the liability of A&E receptionists and ?claims regarding negligent treatment in childbirth

8 December 2015

In Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS ?Trust [2015] EWHC 2301, Judge Robinson ?had to determine the potential liability of ?a hospital’s A&E receptionist. The claimant (D) attended A&E with a headache following a traumatic head injury earlier in the day. ?On booking with the receptionist at 8:26pm, ?he was told he would not be seen for four to ?five hours. Accordingly, he decided not to wait and went home 19 minutes later. About an hour later, while at home, he suffered an extradural haemorrhage, necessitating emergency neurosurgery following which he was left with a permanent hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body). It was agreed that had D still been in A&E when he haemorrhaged, he would have been treated while on hospital premises and would have made a full recovery.

D alleged that the receptionist should have alerted the clinical staff to his condition on booking, such that priority triage would have occurred. Triage by a nurse should ha...

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