How did this Hospital Become an Unsafe Place?

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A woman who was visiting Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London was injured when she took a fall by a coffee shop door. She suffered permanent damage and came to Simpson Millar LLP to help her claim compensation.

Accident Report

Finger Caught in a Door


The woman was walking past the coffee shop within the grounds of Guy's Hospital, when she tripped due to a raised mat covering the floor. There were no warning signs in place to warn that the surface was uneven, dipped, and may cause harm. When she hit the door, her finger was caught between it and the frame, causing the injury to her right little finger. Also during the fall, she injured her left shoulder and her forehead, which hit the door when she fell.

Following the fall, 2 nurses who were present at the time assisted her and her injuries were confirmed at A&E. She had suffered a boutonnieres deformity to her right little finger. The deformity occurs when the tendons in the middle joint of the finger are damaged. As a result, the middle joint of the finger will not straighten and the fingertip may bend backwards. If not treated properly, it may cause permanent damage and affect her ability to use the finger.

What Treatment did she Receive?


Although her finger was the main problem, no treatment was given to the shoulder. She received hand therapy to lessen the damage to the tendon and painkillers for the remaining injuries.

Further x-rays showed that there was no damage to the bones of the finger, but an MRI was needed to examine the muscles and tendons.

How did the Accident Affect her Life?


The injury has had a significant effect on the woman's life. As a self-employed family therapist, she spends a lot of time typing on a computer. She had increased difficulty doing this following the accident and had to reduce her workload for a month.

She was also studying for a doctorate at the time of the accident and fell behind with her work. Her grip was affected by the tendon damage and many of the hobbies she enjoyed she could no longer take part in, like learning to play the guitar, playing tennis and riding her motorbike.

We worked closely with the woman to detail all the facts of the case before we began to negotiate with the solicitors from the hospital. In total, we found 6 faults that caused the fall and resulting injuries. She was awarded £9,000 compensation, however 3 years on, she is still suffering from the effects and continues to receive treatment.


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