Justice at Last for Devastated Family of ‘Incredible Young man’

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Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

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The parents of a young man with learning difficulties who died after doctors failed to diagnose him with sepsis have finally received a ‘proper letter of apology’ from the East Cheshire NHS Trust, two years after it admitted to failings in his care. In 2021/2022, there were 15,078 clinical claims submitted against the NHS Resolutions team, where 99% resulted in compensation and there was a rise by £152.8 million for the year.

Jack Hilton, was a young boy who had autism and epilepsy, and because of his conditions, lived at the David Lewis Centre. - a supported living facility in Macclesfield who support those with complex needs and living arrangements. Tragically, Jack died of complications following surgery to remove his appendix at Macclesfield District Hospital in August 2018 , despite attending the hospital with symptoms on two occasions. 

After his operation, Jack was discharged to stay with his parents with a course of oral antibiotics. Jack returned to the Emergency Department on two subsequent occasions with difficulty breathing, coughing and vomiting.  

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Letter of apology 

Tragically, Jack died from sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection, which had developed in this case after the operation to remove Jack’s appendix. Sepsis develops when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to destroy the body’s own organs and tissues. 

Two years after it admitted to failings in his care and Jack’s tragic passing, the family have finally been given a letter of apology from the East Cheshire NHS Trust. 

In 2021 the Trust settled the claim, with Jack’s parents donating the money to the David Lewis Centre in his honour. Despite this, the family say they have been forced to wait another year to receive a proper apology, and assurances that lessons had been learnt from Jack’s death. 

The apology arrived last month from the Trust’s Chief Executive who offered his ‘sincere condolences’, He said that the treatment Jack had received was ‘not in-keeping with the trust’s antimicrobial prescribing guideline’.

The letter went on to say that the Trust is committed to providing a high standard of care and to ‘learning lessons on occasions when we fall short’, They said the incident has been shared within their multidisciplinary antimicrobial stewardship group for further learning and awareness.

A review is needed 

Jack’s parents, Margaret and Graham, are now requesting the NHS carry out a review of how it communicates with grieving families to prevent others suffering as they have said: 

“Jack was a truly incredible young man who embraced every aspect of life, and we miss him very much. After Jack passed away, we received what we felt was a really a dismissive letter from the Trust that read very much as though they were washing their hands of the matter. This has been a very long and difficult four years for us both, but this letter finally feels like some justice and accountability has been taken by the trust for its failure to care for Jack. Looking to the future, we would urge East Cheshire NHS Trust and the wider NHS to think more carefully about how they communicate with grieving families in cases such as this. The previous letter we had received, which was supposed to act as an apology, simply came across as heartless, and the emotional impact that has had on us has been really very significant. No family should have to fight so hard, and for so long, to be treated with respect and empathy."

- Margaret and Graham, Jack's parents

How Simpson Millar Can Help You 

If you or a loved one has had Sepsis and it wasn’t identified and/or treated early enough, you may have a claim for compensation.

Sepsis, sometimes known as blood poisoning or septicaemia, is a rare but serious complication of an infection, and unless it’s treated quickly it can lead to multiple organ failure and/or death.

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If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of negligence, we can help you get the right support and advice. With Simpson Millar, you’ll have a whole team on your side. We have some of the best personal injury solicitors in England and Wales and other specialist legal teams to meet all your needs. This should reassure you that you’ve come to the right place.

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Our dedicated team have the experience and knowledge to guide you through every step. We know choosing someone to help you can be a difficult decision, but hopefully we can prove that you’ve made the best choice. Call us on 0808 239 6043 and let us, help you.


East Cheshire NHS Trust. (n.d.). [Online] Available at: https://www.eastcheshire.nhs.uk/

NHS Resolution. (2022, July 20). NHS Resolution Continues to Drive Down Litigation: Annual Report and Accounts Published for 2021/22. [Online] Available at: https://resolution.nhs.uk/2022/07/20/nhs-resolution-continues-to-drive-down-litigation-annual-report-and-accounts-published-for-2021-22/

National Autistic Society. (n.d.). [Online] Available at: https://www.autism.org.uk/

Epilepsy Society. (n.d.). [Online] Available at: https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/

David Lewis. (n.d.). [Online] Available at: https://www.davidlewis.org.uk/

NHS. (n.d.). Sepsis. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Calcium Deposits. [Online] Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23117-calcium-deposits

NHS England. (n.d.). Community Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020-22: Findings and Recommendations from the Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiatives. [Online] Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/community-pharmacy-quality-scheme-2020-22-findings-and-recommendations-from-the-antimicrobial-stewardship-initiatives/

Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Georgina is a Solicitor who works in our Medical Negligence team here at Simpson Millar, based in our Manchester office.

She is a committed and highly reliable Solicitor with a track record of supporting clients through the process of making a claim to achieve the best outcome for them. Georgina has experience working on many high-value cases with a range of circumstances and complexities from start to finish, where she reviews medical records, liaises with experts and gathers evidence in order to negotiate the best possible settlement for her clients.

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