Tom Goodhead represents dying mother in her claim against Welsh NHS Board for delay in cancer diagnosis.
Katie Maytum, 35, is suing Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board for negligence after a five and a half month wait for treatment has left her with 18 months to live.
The young mother of two went to her GP in July 2010 after finding a lump in her left breast. Her GP considered it to be serious and faxed a request for a fast track appointment to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. This should have resulted with an appointment with a specialist cancer consultant within two weeks under guidelines drawn up by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Instead Vummiti Muralikrishnan, a consultant at the hospital, downgraded her case to ‘routine’ status and Ms Maytum waited until January 2011 for her appointment. This scan revealed her cancer and treatment commenced. But in April 2014 she was told she had 18 months to live.
NHS Wales has argued that instead of following the NICE guidelines they use their own alternative set of rules that allow urgent referrals to be downgraded and do not require patients with suspected cancer to be seen within a fortnight. They have, however, admitted that under their own guidelines Ms Maytum should have been seen within three months of her referral.
The case continues at the High Court in Cardiff. Tom Goodhead is instructed by Beers LLP and is being led by Nigel Poole QC.