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Success for Crown Office Chambers

Judgment was handed down on Tuesday 14th May, in the case of Barry Frederick Hewes v West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (1) & East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (2) & Dr Pankaj Tanna (3) [2019] EWHC 1201 (QB).  The trial was heard over 6 days in the RCJ in March 2019 before Anne Whyte QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge.

Erica Power, representing West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust & East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Victoria Woodbridge, representing Dr Tanna, a General Practitioner, have successfully defended a claim for substantial damages for clinical negligence brought by the Claimant, Mr Barry Hewes.  Mr Hewes developed cauda equina syndrome in March 2012 but despite undergoing spinal decompression was left with permanent neurological and sensory deficits.  He alleged that the negligence of each of the Defendants contributed to an unreasonable delay in getting him to surgery and but for those delays he would have avoided injury.

In a detailed judgment, the Judge rejected the allegations of negligence raised against the GP and the Hospital Trust. She also found for the Defendants on the issue of causation.  In her judgment Mr Hewes had progressed to cauda equina with retention before the earliest point at which he asserts he would have come to surgery (absent his alleged negligence) and therefore that the unfavourable outcome suffered by Mr Hewes would not have been avoided.

Erica Power was instructed by Dominic Ip of Capsticks and Victoria Woodbridge by Louise Morgan of the Medical Protection Society.

A copy of the Judgment can be found here: Hewes v West Herts Hosp NHS Trust



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