A Bedford mum has won almost £70,000 compensation from the Bedford Hospitals Trust after suffering unnecessarily from a sexually transmitted disease for more than a year.
The woman, in her 30s, now has to use a wheelchair because of the severe pain she suffers.
She had only just given birth to her second child in 2005 when a swab test showed she had chlamydia, London’s High Court heard.
It could easily have been treated by antibiotics, but neither she nor her GP were informed of the positive test results, said Mr Justice Blake.
Over the following months, she complained of abdominal pain six times to her doctor and Bedford Hospital but was given only painkillers. And more than a year passed before she was taken to the hospital by ambulance and finally told that she had the infection.
Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust admitted negligence and that the treatment delay had contributed to her suffering an ectopic pregnancy.
She claimed the hospital blunder had triggered chronic widespread pain that had continued to the present day.
By the time her case came to court, she was dependent on opiate painkillers and the judge said she was “in a sorry state”.
“She arrived in court in a wheelchair and needed the assistance of her husband to climb into the witness box ... she appeared to be experiencing spasms of pain at regular intervals, he said
The trust disputed the value of her claim, arguing that much of it had psychiatric or psychological causes. Problems in her personal life and her involvement in a serious road crash had all had a part to play in her suffering, NHS lawyers argued.
The judge awarded £68,742 damages but said aspects of the woman’s evidence were “highly unreliable and materially influenced by financial advantage.”