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Compensation for hospital blunder

A woman has been compensated after having a finger amputated following several errors by hospital staff.

Local press has reported that Mrs. Claire Heywood sustained a large cut to one of her fingers in an accident in 2007 when one of the fingers of her left hand was spliced open on a piece of broken glass.

Mrs. Heywood attended the accident and emergency department at the Royal Oldham Hospital. The finger was dressed and staff told her to go home as she hadn’t sustained a serious injury. Mrs. Heywood who is a nurse told the hospital staff that she thought a tendon had been severed. Her comments were ignored.

During the days and weeks that followed the incident, Mrs. Heywood experienced stiffness and pain in the finger so made an appointment with her GP. The doctor immediately re-referred her to the Royal Oldham, but they did not see her for another eight weeks. She was then advised that a tendon had been severed and that she required a tendon graft. However, despite several procedures and operations to mend her finger, it had to be amputated.

The newspaper also reported that Mrs. Heywood has submitted a claim for negligence in the hope that it would teach Pennine Acute Trust how to avoid similar mistakes in the future. The Trust have subsequently admitted mistakes were made, including an incorrect initial diagnosis and treatment of the tendon, errors in Mrs. Heywood’s notes (her notes stated that x-rays were completed when in fact they weren’t), unacceptable surgery delays and for not referring her to a specialist.

Mrs. Heywood has now received compensation and an apology from the Trust.