Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 2301 (QB) (31 July 2015) 

Emergency department triage and waiting time; NICE guidance considered.

C was assaulted, sustaining a head injury. He attended casualty. He left after minutes unseen by clinicians. His condition deteriorated and he suffered the effects of an extradural haematoma. C’s claim concerned what information he was given about the time he would have to wait before being seen by a clinician, and also a failure to assess C for “priority triage”.

The claim failed: “…ultimately was the decision of the Claimant. It was the Claimant who was aware that he had been struck over the head. He knew he was in pain. He knew that ultimately he would be seen. He took the decision to leave before he had been seen. Ultimately, it is the Claimant who must take responsibility for the consequences of that decision, not the Defendant by its reception staff.” (paragraph 92)