Coodes Personal Injury victory for C-diff widower

Wed 26th Jan 2011

Coodes Solicitor’s personal injury department has helped win more than £100,000 compensation for the family of a woman who contracted a superbug at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske.

Rosemary Congdon caught Clostridium difficile (C-diff) whist being treated for a broken leg at RCHT in February 2008. She died two months later, aged 56.

After three years of legal pressure, the chief executive of RCH NHS Trust has written a letter of apology to Mrs Congdon’s husband Peter and agreed to pay a six-figure sum as compensation.

Bob Beard, personal injury specialist at Coodes Solicitors in Truro, said: “It is galling that RCHT has taken three years to admit liability for Mrs Congdon’s death.

“We managed to secure as much compensation the Congdons were entitled to claim. However, we are not simply dealing with a broken leg – this is the loss of a life because RCHT was neglectful in protecting Mrs Congdon from infection.

“Despite living with Multiple Sclerosis, Rosemary Congdon enjoyed an active life. But this was cut short by C-diff, which the hospital now admits was caused by insufficient sanitisation.”

Amongst the evidence gathered by Coodes Solicitors was a report by a micro-biologist which found that the likely cause of the C-diff infection was during Mrs Congdon’s stay at RCHT.

Mrs Congdon was treated at the hospital as an in-patient for three weeks in a six-bedded open bay ward from February 29, 2008. During her stay, there were two other patients on the ward suffering with severe diarrhoea.

She was discharged home on March 18, 2008 and went on a brief holiday to celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday.

Shortly after, she began to complain of stomach cramps, diarrhoea and a general sense of feeling unwell. Mrs Congdon’s condition deteriorated dramatically and she was re-admitted as an emergency on April 16, 2008. Mrs Congdon died two days later.

Twelve hours before her death, Rosemary was moved to a side room and it was confirmed that she was suffering with clodistrium difficile (C-diff) infection.

Shortly after her death, the hospital admitted that during her initial admission to hospital in February 2008 to undergo surgery to her fractured leg, there were two patients on the open bay who were being treated for C-diff.

A proportion of the compensation awarded to the Congdon family will be donated to MS charity the Merlin Project.

If you, or a member of your family, believe you have been a victim of negligence at the hands of any medical body, be it your local hospital, dentist, GP or other professional, please contact the Clinical Negligence Team or telephone 0800 328 3282.

Wed 26th Jan 2011

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