UPDATED: Grantham mum hopes lessons will be learnt after losing her leg because of medical blunders
A Grantham mum-of-three has spoken out after a series of medical blunders meant she had to have her leg amputated.
Lorraine Brewin, 46, of Gannet Court in Grantham has received a six-figure interim payment after errors meant she lost her left leg below the knee.
The pay-out comes as United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust - the authority responsible for Grantham Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital - admitted that inadequate care following a routine operation led to the amputation.
Mrs Brewin told the Journal: “Hopefully they will learn from what’s coming out now. I don’t want to be in public but it’s about making sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“I don’t want them to go through the same thing I went through. If something changes then it will be worthwhile speaking out.”
In January 2009 Mrs Brewin went to Grantham Hospital for an operation to remove varicose veins.
She underwent the operation in the morning and expected to be discharged in the afternoon only to suffer a dangerous build-up of blood in her leg - called compartment syndrome.
She was eventually transferred to Lincoln County Hospital for further surgery. However, further delays and a lack of physiotherapy meant she had to have her lower leg amputated in January, 2010.
Mrs Brewin said: “The last three years have been the most upsetting and physically painful of my life and the fact that the amputation could so easily have been avoided had I received the right care is something I don’t think I’ll ever get over. Before the surgery I was fit and healthy apart from the varicose veins but I’ve been wheelchair bound ever since.
“My whole life has changed and it took a while for all of us to accept the situation and I often feel that more of me is missing than just my leg. It’s depressing being stuck at home while David is at work full time and I miss working too. I’m in pain and uncomfortable all the time and have terrible nightmares about what I’ve been through.
“I feel like I’ve lost my independence too and although my family help care for me it’s not been easy for any of us.”
Mrs Brewin and husband Dave have received news they will receive a six-figure interim payment to allow the pair to start re-building their lives. The money will be used to buy a new specially-adapted bungalow.
Mrs Brewin said: “It’s a huge relief the settlement has now been agreed because moving into a new, specially-adapted house will be a fresh start for all of us and more suitable for my needs. The family has lived in the same house for 13 years but I can’t manage the stairs on my own and while there’s a toilet downstairs, there are no bathing facilities.
“A new home will help me regain my confidence and independence and make me feel more like the old Lorraine again. I just hope the hospital trust has learnt from their mistakes so other patients don’t have to go through what my family and I have in future.”
Mrs Brewin’s corner has been fought by specialist medical law and patient rights experts at Irwin Mitchell.
Zoe Brodrick from Irwin Mitchell is representing Mrs Brewin in her on-going battle to secure the funds she needs to live as normal a life as possible despite the injuries she has sustained.
She said: “Lorraine is likely to suffer constant pain and discomfort for the rest of her life as a result of the avoidable errors at the hospitals where she received treatment.
“She is reliant on a wheelchair and is facing an ongoing struggle to adapt to her new life as well as coming to terms with the fact that had she received the correct treatment and after care the amputation could so easily have been avoided.
“Despite this Lorraine is relieved the trust has now accepted full responsibility for the failures in her care, though she is frustrated that it has taken three years for them to do so. We hope that lessons have been learnt by the trust to prevent other patients suffering from similar mistakes in the future.”
UPDATE: United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised for the standard of care Mrs Brewin received and insist the organisation HAS learnt from the mistakes.
A spokesman said: “United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised to Mrs Brewin for aspects of care she received in January 2009 which did not meet the standards she was entitled to expect.
“The Trust fully investigated the case and over the last four years many steps have been taken to ensure staff receive further training in the rapid escalation of a diagnosis and in responding to changes in a patient’s condition.”
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