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Addenbrooke's Hospital breached duty of care with stroke patient, High Court rules.


A hospital patient would have not suffered a "massive" stroke if she had been given the correct drug to reduce blood clots, a High Court judge has ruled.

The High Court found that Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, breached its duty of care when Phoebe Pickering was seen by staff in the Accident & Emergency  (A&E) department.

Court documents said in the evening of 24 September 2015, Mrs Pickering,  then aged 52, suffered pins and needles in her right foot that became cold and white.  This lasted for a few minutes before returning to normal, but then happened repeatedly.

Mrs Pickering went to A&E at Addenbrooke's Hospital where she was examined. She was then referred to an out-of-hours GP before being returned to A&E and was sent home the next day, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

During the next two days, Mrs Pickering was fine, called her GP as advised, but then, on 27 September, suffered a "massive stroke."

Mrs Pickering submitted a claim and her legal team argued the trust was negligent.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust admitted it had been negligent in failing to treat Mrs Pickering with a clot-reducing drug, court documents said.

Mr Justice Ritchie found "on the balance of probability she would not have suffered a stroke" if the drug had been given on 24 September and could have had a high chance of remaining stroke-free for the rest of her life.

He said the "hospital breached its duty of care" to her by not giving the drug to her.

A Trust spokesperson said: "We are sorry that the care received by Mrs Pickering when she attended the trust was not to the standard that she was entitled to expect and that this has had such significant consequences for her."

The spokesperson added that the trust would "work with solicitors to ensure that her claim is settled as soon as possible so that her ongoing needs are met.”