9 Gough Square boasts a wide range of experience in Clinical Negligence disputes acting for both Claimants and Defendants. We recognise this area of practice is accompanied by its own unique challenges, and aim to offer realistic and practical advice, be it to those coming to terms with the effects of treatment, or to those against whom actions are being contemplated or brought.
Members of Chambers deal with all types of Clinical Negligence disputes, from cases of brain injury suffered at birth, to cancer misdiagnosis, to negligently performed cosmetic and dental surgery. Several of our specialist members sit as Recorders and are recommended in the main legal directories for both Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Work. Hence, we also have extensive experience in cases involving mixed Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury causes of action.
We understand the particular demands and tight timescales often involved in this type of work and given the strength and breadth of our team we can offer suitable experience for cases at all levels of complexity. Be it drafting urgent Particulars of Claim, Defences, Schedules, Expert Agendas or Skeleton Arguments, our team has the depth and strength to provide a complete service from Inquests and the early stages of contemplated litigation, through to mediation, settlement meetings, and trial; as well as assisting with access to investment advice when significant compensation awards are made. We also have experience in providing advice and representation at a range of Disciplinary proceedings such as General Medical Council matters.
Although Legal Services Commission funding is available for some clinical negligence claims, we are well placed to handle all types of case on a Conditional Fee basis where appropriate.
Areas of work undertaken have included:
- Misdiagnosed Acute Cardiac Syndrome
- Brain Damage at birth due to hypoxia
- Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Failed Cosmetic Surgery
- Misdiagnosis of Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Negligent Dental Surgery and associated treatment
- Inappropriate Drug Administration
- Negligent Electrophysiology
- Erb's Palsy at birth
- Negligent Gastrointestinal and Genito-urinary surgery
- Hospital Acquired Infections
- Failure to obtain Informed Consent
- Multi-party and group actions
- Negligent Ophthalmology
- Negligent Spinal Surgery
- Failed Sterilisations
- Systemic failures in hospital protocols
A few examples of the many cases which went to trial and were handled by members of chambers:
D v The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust. . D was born with Downs Syndrome. In 1997, when she was 11 months old she was admitted to Princess Alexandra Hospital with a history of high temperature, rapid breathing and vomiting. A diagnosis of bronchialitis was made. Her condition was inadequately managed over the course of the following weeks cumulating in a cardiac arrest on transfer to Guy's Hospital Paediatric Intensive care Unit on the 6th April 1997. D required intubation and ventilation and once her condition had started to improve attempts were made to extubate on a number of occasions without success and a tracheotomy was therefore performed. The tracheotomy remained in place for three years causing damage to D's vocal cords. Liability has been agreed at 80% of full damages and an award of £57,000 was approved by the QBD in January 2008. Case Involved Simon Carr & Grahame Aldous QC of 9 Gough Square.
X v Great Ormond Street Hospital Trust. . As a result of a pre-existing genetic syndrome the Claimant had learning difficulties and suffered from delayed motor development together with a measure of joint laxity and convulsions. In September 2000 a spinal surgeon at he Defendant hospital carried out a long fusion of her spine from the high thoracic area to include the sacrum at the base of the spine, inserting rods to hold her spine stiff over most of its length. Her condition was not improved and she was left with reduced mobility and extra care needs. The Claimant alleged that so extensive an operation should not have been undertaken had informed consent been sought properly, as it would not have been given. Settlement of £300,000 approve at trial in the QBD April 2008. Case Involved Grahame Aldous QC of 9 Gough Square.
Birch v University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The Claimant suffered a stroke following a cerebral catheter angiogram at the National Hospital and Neurosurgery, Queens Square in June 2003. She claimed damages as a result of that stroke as she alleged that although the cerebral catheter angiogram was undertaken for the purposes of excluding a diagnosis of life threatening post communicating aneurysm that investigation could and should have been undertaken by the less intrusive method of a magnetic resonance imaging angiogram. Held at trial in QBD, July 2008, That treatment not negligent, but that informed consent had not been obtained. Case Involved Grahame Aldous QC of 9 Gough Square.
Bildstein v Jackson  The Claimant, a 39 year old women, received £47,297 after she sustained abdominal scarring following an abdominoplasty in August in August 2004. C alleged that D had been negligent in (i) failing to exercise the wide separation of her rectus muscles; (ii) making the necessary incision too high up her abdomen. C sustained scarring around umbilicus, reducing the opening to 0.5cm. C had been considering a sterilisation reversal but the scarring meant that the keyhole laparoscopic reversal would be a very high risk and an exploratory laparotomy would have a far lower chance of success. C found that the scarring and bulging to be extremely distressing. She dressed in the dark, would not wear skirts and would not go swimming with her children, even when wearing a full bathing costume. The scarring made a significant and material contribution to her developing a psychological disorder and to the breakdown of her marriage. Simon Brindle of 9 Gough Square acted on behalf of the Claimant.
Norris v. North West London Hospital NHS Trust  Settlement at £300K for 51 year old woman who underwent a negligently performed hip replacement leaving her very substantially disabled following post-operative DVT. Defendant disputed that the choice and fitting of the prosthesis was Bolam unreasonable and whether she would have suffered the DVT anyway. The case Involved Stephen Glynn of 9 Gough Square.
Morris v Gwent Healthcare NHS trust.  Cardiff D.R. Lawtel, Hypoxia at birth, cerebral palsy. Settlement, Lump Sum £3 million, periodical payments for lost earnings £15,000 pa to age 70, stepped periodical payments for care £70,000 pa for life (index linked to the ASHA) Case Involved Andrew Ritchie QC of 9 Gough Square.
Attard v Hoskyns and St Luke's Hospital Malta, QBD Eady J. [April 2006]. Successful defence of Maltese Health Authority against Part 20 claim in UK arising out of diagnosis of metabolic disorder, PKU, as a cause of cerebral palsy. The case involved Grahame Aldous QC of 9 Gough Square.
Susan Epstein v Barry Francis [Trial 24th-26th April 2006] Central London County Court, HHJ Crawford Lindsay QC. Alleged misdiagnosis of bilateral subungual exostoses and negligent performance of surgery to remove the supposed exostoses leading to injury and bilateral revision surgery. Claim against consultant podiatric surgeon. The case involved Grahame Aldous QC and Laura Begley of 9 Gough Square.
Ali v City of Nottingham NHS Trust (unreported, November 2005). Khurrum Ali was 2 years old when he went into the Nottingham City Hospital for a routine operation. As a result of his negligent treatment he was rendered severely brain damaged. He died 8 years later. During that time his parents were his sole carers. Total damages were assessed at just over £400,000. This case involved Christopher Stephenson of 9 Gough Square.
Raichura v Leicestershire H.A.  Lawtel, Leicestershire District Registry (HHJ Hall QC) 4/8/2003. The claimant, a 23-year-old man, received a "bottom up settlement" or periodic payments settlement (with an old style lump sum value of £2,920,000) for the severe hypoxic-ischaemic brain damage sustained during his birth in November 1979. He suffered cerebral palsy and tetraplegia, severe cognitive impairment, and was wholly dependent on others for his care and daily needs. The case involved Andrew Ritchie QC of 9 Gough Square.
Johnston v Whipps Cross NHS Trust.  Court of Appeal. Fatal Accident claim arising out of failure by A&E unit to diagnose meningitis. Mother of small children, pregnant with another, attended A&E complaining of earache and headache. Diagnosis made of Otitis Media (middle ear infection). Condition worsened and GP called. Diagnosis of meningitis made and patient Blue Lamped to hospital but fell into a coma. Baby born while in coma before death. Case Involved Grahame Aldous QC of 9 Gough Square.
Chambers accepts cases which are privately funded, insurance-backed, legally aided and, where appropriate, using Conditional Fees.
to view our barristers working in the area of Clinical Negligence and to see details of notable Clinical Negligence cases undertaken by each barrister.