Powell University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust [2023] EWHC 736 (KB) (31 March 2023)

C now aged 65, was admitted have “left revision total knee replacement”. She had a prosthesis – a metal implant – in her left knee that was causing her discomfort. The objective of the surgery was to put it right by replacing it. This was in November 2013 when she was 55. At some point, following surgical procedures she had between that November and the next June, an infection entered her body and could not be controlled. Her left leg had to be amputated above the knee in 2016… She says that this catastrophic result was caused by the negligence of D [3]

The specific negligence alleged is not a want of due care and skill in the surgical procedures themselves, but a lack of appropriate consenting. Put another way: C says that if she was advised as she should have been about the risks and limitations of the procedures D offered her, and if she were informed of a reasonable alternative treatment, what is called “first stage procedure” (the removal of the implant), she would have taken this option, and that would have eradicated any infection, and her leg would not have been lost. [5]

two issues sharply arise for the court’s determination: informed consent and causation. [6]

This claim must fail and is dismissed. [135]