Payout pensioner dropped by hospital nurse

A pensioner has received £180,000 in damages after hospital staff dropped him as he recovered from a hip replacement operation.

Harold Shaw, 82, was left unable to walk and confined to a care home after the incident at Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North-West London.

Mr Shaw’s son, David, took legal action against Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT), which manages the hospital. The case was due to be heard at the High Court last month, but the trust settled out of court.

The Barnet Synagogue member had been due to undergo rehabilitation and physiotherapy at the hospital in July 2006, but despite doctors’ warnings that he was too weak to stand, a nurse attempted to move him by herself.

Mr Shaw fell, breaking his new hip and shattering his leg bone.

During an operation to repair the injuries, he contracted a serious infection and was forced to stay in hospital for seven months.

The former fashion industry sales director’s poor health means he is now unable to live at home with his wife of 45 years, Jacqueline, and he has moved to Jewish Care’s Lady Sarah Cohen House in North London.

The pay-out will cover the cost of his care until July next year.

David Shaw said: “Dad will never be able to stand again. We’d hoped that the hip operation would allow him to move around.

“My mother cares for him but she lives at her own home. That’s very difficult for them because they obviously want to be together. He is missing out on life and has not been able to take part in any family simchahs.

“Dad was an active member of the shul and took part in all the activities. He was always a gregarious character but is not the same person now. It’s a different world for him.”

A Barnet PCT spokeswoman said the trust could not comment on individual cases, but added: “We endeavour to ensure that each patient receives high quality health care. We do however understand that at times we are not always able to meet the needs and expectations of every individual.

“We would like to apologise for any distress that may have been caused on this occasion.”

    Last updated: 3:16pm, December 19 2008