The NHS treats thousands of patients with great skill every day but, when mistakes are made, it is only right that those affected are properly compensated. In one case, a cancer sufferer who was given double the intended dose of radiotherapy following an arithmetical error has been awarded multi-million-pound damages.
The man, aged 40, was just 19 when the disastrous mistake was made whilst he was undergoing treatment in hospital for a brain tumour. The significant overdose of radiation caused profound neurological damage and he faces daily problems with mobility, dexterity, vision, speech and memory.
After legal proceedings were commenced, the NHS trust that ran the hospital admitted liability and agreed to a compensation package that will be worth £7 million over the man's lifetime. The trust apologised and assured the High Court that it now employs sophisticated checking systems to ensure that this type of error does not happen again.
In approving the settlement, the Court paid tribute to the selfless care given to the man by his parents. Their dogged determination in pursuing his case showed an unusual degree of courage and resolve.