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Teaching assistant awarded £40,000 compensation

A teaching assistant who was left in agony and ended up losing her job, has been awarded £40,000 compensation after a hospital misdiagnosed her ankle injury.

It was the end of August when Ms D injured her ankle. All she did was stand up and take a step forward. As she did, she heard her ankle crack and it gave way underneath her.

She went to her local Health and Wellbeing Centre, but was advised to go straight to A&E at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

There she was examined by the Triage nurse, who diagnosed ligament damage. Ms D was told to carry on as usual, put weight on her foot and keep her ankle moving.

A few days later, the school holidays came to an end and Ms D went back to work. The nature of her job meant that she was on her feet all day – something she found incredibly painful.

She struggled on, but by the end of September, she was in so much pain that she went to her GP, who advised her to take time off work. He prescribed painkillers, arranged for physiotherapy and also arranged for an x-ray to be taken; concerned that the hospital hadn’t already done one.

The x-ray showed no bones were broken. However, the constant pain was now having a serious effect on Ms D’s health.

When she went for the physio appointment in October, tests were carried out and as a result she was referred back to the Blackpool Victoria hospital.

It was November by the time her hospital appointment came through – 3 months after her first visit. This time, scans revealed a 3.6cm tear in her Achilles tendon.

Ms D had to wait until December for surgery to repair the damaged tendon. After the operation she needed help around the home and couldn’t drive until the following March.

Ms D explains: “I had intended to start a teaching course in the January. But after the injury I had to postpone it. I also lost my placement at the school because of the length of time I had to take off. I’ve made a good recovery from the injury itself, but I still find it painful and my ankle swells if I’ve been standing or driving for a long time.”

As medical negligence specialists in recovering compensation for delayed diagnosis, Atherton Godfrey pursued the claim on a no win no fee basis. The NHS Trust agreed to pay £40,000 compensation in an out of court settlement.


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