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Nadia Whittaker

Call 2007

Clinical Negligence

Clinical negligence is Nadia’s main area of speciality, although she also maintains a busy practice in personal injury and occupational disease. She benefits from her academic background in psychology and medical law.

Nadia is instructed on a regular basis on behalf of a significant number of Defendant Health Trusts, medical defence organisations and NHS Resolution as well as for Claimants. She adopts a client-centred pragmatic approach to her advisory work and her pleadings are robust and comprehensive. She is regularly instructed to appear at trials and interim hearings, often against more senior Counsel and Queen’s Counsel. She has experience of multiparty litigation involving ambulance services, hospitals, General Practitioners and non-clinical tortfeasors and has been instructed in contribution claims in this context.

She is familiar with all types of ADR and is happy to undertake work on a CFA basis. She frequently hosts conferences in Chambers or elsewhere at the clients’ convenience. Chambers also offers a high quality video link, which can be used to co-ordinate meetings.

Nadia has developed a particular interest in claims involving pressure damage in paraplegics and amputees and has successfully concluded a number of claims on behalf of the NHS Trust and Care Homes involving significant pressure damage, leading to death or the alleged requirement for a substantial care packages.

Another area of special interest involves patients attempting or committing suicide in acute clinical settings, leading to complex arguments on the scope of duty of care, causation and quantum, particularly, where the deceased are young with apparently satisfactory pre-morbid functioning and a number of dependents.

A further emerging area of Nadia’s expertise concerns alleged injuries that do not appear to have any organic basis involving symptoms of blindness and paralysis with concomitant substantial claims for future loss.

Nadia has represented a number of ambulance services in the context of alleged failure to convey patients to hospital on time and also has experience of claims arising from alleged negligent treatment provided to prisoners. She has also appeared in the Court of Protection in respect of a contested decision to switch off lifesaving treatment.

In addition to her clinical negligence practice, she regularly appears at Inquests involving issues pertaining to medical treatment provided at hospitals and Care Homes often raising issues of neglect and the engagement of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

Selected Cases

  • Emergency medicine: rupture of pseudo-aneurysm of the femoral artery; allegations of negligence and breach of Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR arising from the death of an elderly patient in the Accident & Emergency department following a clinical decision not to provide active resuscitation; failure to diagnose aortic valve pathology; delay in diagnosis of DVT; delay in diagnosis of stroke and idiopathic intra-cranial hypertension; delay in diagnosis of a Cauda Equina Syndrome.
  • Anaesthesia: complication from general anaesthesia resulting in brachial plexus injury (Rowley -v- King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2017) unreported, Recorder Berkley); complications allegedly arising from administration of spinal anaesthetic with concomitant issues of consent.
  • Ambulance services: delays in conveying patients to hospital in the context of choking incidents, suspected stroke or TIA and bowel obstruction.
  • Bariatric surgery: death resulting from complications of roux-en-y long limb gastric bypass surgery and complications of gastric band surgery.
  • General surgery: laparoscopic cholecystectomy and bile duct injury; bowel obstruction; complications of Crohn’s disease.
  • Gynaecology: a posterior repair of vaginal prolapse; tubo-ovarian abscess; management of endometriosis; mastectomy.
  • Nursing: Grade III-IV pressure damage; failure to provide adequate hydration and nutrition leading to requirement for PEG nutrition and death from buried bumper syndrome; pressure damage in paraplegics.
  • Obstetrics: shoulder dystocia resulting in brachial plexus injury; unrelated maternal conditions affecting mode of delivery and consent; tears, leading incontinence and other complications; ureteric and bowel injury;
  • Orthopaedic surgery: informed consent for a surgical procedure following a rupture of the long head of biceps; necrotising fasciitis necessitating revision of below knee amputation to above knee amputation; total hip replacement; compartment syndrome
  • Ophthalmology: non-organic visual loss allegedly caused by a delay in diagnosis of idiopathic intra-cranial hypertension.
  • Neonatology: death of a premature baby from necrotising enterocolitis (AT v The Princess Alexandra Hospitals NHS Trust (2016) unreported HHJ Cryan)
  • Neurology: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome allegedly arising from an injection of location anaesthetic; sudden death in epilepsy; non-organic visual loss and paralysis.
  • Spinal surgery: spinal abscesses; a Cauda Equina Syndrome; thoracolumbar fractures.
  • Podiatry: minimally invasive osteotomies; cheilectomies; Scarf and Akin osteotomies.
  • Psychiatry: suicide of a voluntary mental health patient (A, X (a child) and Y (a child), by her litigation v Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (2016), HHJ Gore QC); suicide of a long-term psychiatric patient detained under the Mental Health Act, listed for inquest before the Jury.
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Qualifications


  • Princess Royal Scholar & Exhibitioner, Inner Temple
  • LLB (First Class), College of Law (2007)
  • BVC (Outstanding), College of Law (2006 – 2007)
  • GDL (Distinction), College of Law (2004 – 2006)
  • MA in Medical Law & Ethics (Merit), King’s College London (2002 – 2004)
  • BSc in Psychology (First Class), Westminster University (1999 – 2002)

Memberships


  • PIBA

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