Case Study: Hospital Failed to Spot Issue With Major Coronary Artery

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Kate McCue

Medical Negligence Associate Solicitor

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In 2022/23 the NHS received 13,511 clinical claims, where 99% ended up in compensation. Medical Negligence meant a vulnerable patient, suffering from heart problems, had to have two serious heart operations instead of one – prolonging his recovery back to health.

Mr Jones was admitted to an NHS hospital with chest pains back in May 2018. But the NHS hospital he was taken to was understaffed, so he was transferred to private hospital, KIMS, for treatment.

Following an angiography, which is a type of X-ray used to check the health of blood vessels, it was discovered that Mr Jones needed an angioplasty, a procedure that opens up blocked coronary arteries, and a stent fitted in his right coronary artery to stop it from closing back up.

Unfortunately, our client became unwell again about 3 months later, and it turned out that a calcification of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery that had been present on the angiography hadn’t been picked up. As a result, it hadn’t been treated by KIMS Hospital when he had his angioplasty, and he needed further surgery to treat the LAD.

The hospital found that he had a calcification, a build-up of calcium salts which causes tissue to harden, on the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, the body’s biggest coronary artery.

Mr Jones had to go back into surgery and have an operation to remove the calcification.

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How we helped Mr Jones

Once he’d recovered from his second operation, Mr Jones approached our Medical Negligence team for some advice. He felt that if the calcification had been spotted earlier, he’d have only needed one intrusive operation, not two.

We listened to what he’d been through and after a little investigation, we were able to prove that the calcification had been there when he’d had his initial angiography back in May and it should’ve been removed during his first, angioplasty operation.

Mr Jones suffered from a lack of duty of care by the private hospital, and as a result, became ill and had to undergo a second major heart operation.

How Simpson Millar Helped 

We obtained expert medical evidence which showed that the treatment provided in May 2018 fell below the reasonable standard.

In particular, the calcification to the LAD should have been noted and treated during the same procedure. Our expert concluded that this failing led to our client experiencing further symptoms and needing to undergo a second operation.

Fortunately, our client hadn’t suffered any long-term damage because of the medical negligence and made a good recovery, which meant the compensation he received was modest when compared with more severe cases. We proposed a compensation settlement of £5,000 with KIMS Hospital, and they quickly accepted liability and we were able to get Mr Jones the compensation amount he deserved. Thankfully, Mr Jones made a full recovery, didn’t suffer from any long-term damage, and was able to move forwards with his life.

What Are The Time Limits For Making A Medical Negligence Claim?

Navigating medical negligence claims can seem daunting, but understanding the general guidelines can make the process smoother. 

Typically, you must initiate a claim within three years of discovering negligent treatment. Injuries or illnesses may worsen or develop over time before you are aware of the issue, so claims are not always immediate.

There are a few vital exceptions including: 

  • For children, claims can be filed at any point until they reach 18 years of age. Once a child turns 18, the standard three-year rule applies, meaning they must begin the claim process before turning 21. 
  • If a person lacks adequate mental capacity to file a claim themselves, the time limit does not start running whilst they lack capacity.

What can be classed as medical negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional's actions or in-actions deviate from the accepted standard of care, causing harm or injury to a patient. 

This may include various situations, such as:

  • misdiagnosis
  • delayed diagnosis 
  • surgical errors
  • wrong medication or dosage 
  • unsanitary conditions in a medical facility 

These faults can sometimes have life-altering or even fatal consequences for the patient involved.

Why Should I Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

There are many reasons why you may want to make a claim.

A successful outcome could help you start to rebuild your life and feel a sense of justice. Whether your incident happened with the NHS or a private medical practice, a successful claim could help change processes and procedures so others don’t suffer.

Medical negligence compensation can cover things such as:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost earnings and income
  • Cost of care and assistance
  • Prescription charges and medical fees
  • Help with household tasks
  • Travel expenses
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Special care aids and appliances
  • Future medical treatment


Contact us 

If you’ve been affected by clinical or medical negligence, you could claim compensation. Our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors can offer you a Free Claims Assessment and help guide you through the process of making a medical claim.

We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation for people who have suffered because of medical negligence. We’ve also helped them access the specialist care, treatment and rehabilitation they need to start to rebuild their lives. Call us on 0808 134 9722 and let us, help you.


KIMS Hospital. (n.d.). [Online] Available at:

NHS. (n.d.). Angiography. [Online] Available at:

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Calcium Deposits. [Online] Available at:

Statista. (n.d.). Number of Claims Reported to NHS England by Type. [Online] Available at:

Kate McCue

Medical Negligence Associate Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Kate joined the Clinical Negligence department at Simpson Millar in January 2023 after previously working at Chris Kallis Solicitors in Plymouth. Kate qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and has developed extensive experience in both Personal Injury and Medical Negligence.   

Initially Kate started working as a Defendant Solicitor for firms such as Bond Pearce LLP and DAC Beachcroft Claims Ltd. This has allowed Kate to develop a tactical advantage to her cases, using the experience of how a claim is dealt with from a Defendant’s perspective. 

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