Rathore v Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 863 (QB) (25 April 2017)

On 4 October 2005 C was admitted to hospital with post-partum bleeding… (paragraph 6)

Vaginal swabs were taken that showed Chlamydia Trachomatis… neither she nor her GP were informed of the results with the effect that no treatment was administered until October 2006, a year later. D accepts that the failure to inform C and ensure that both she and her husband received appropriate treatment was a breach of its duty of care. (paragraph 7)

C’s case was as follows:-

i) Before 2005, she had not suffered any or any enduring mental illness or similar condition…

ii) As a result of the untreated chlamydia she experienced pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, removal of a fallopian tube and stress that in turn caused a facial rash/excoriation.

iii) There was a physical cause to her pelvic pain that lasted at least to February 2007 and probably thereafter.

iv) In addition, at some time after October 2006, depending on when a physical explanation for her experience of her pain no longer existed, she developed a persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD).

v) The experience of pain spread in 2007/2008 and by May 2011 it had become chronic widespread pain (CWP).

vi) The PSPD and the CWP were caused/materially contributed to by the pelvic inflammatory disease in turn caused by the untreated chlamydia.

vii) Her present state is one of opiate dependency, experiencing constant and regular spasms of chronic widespread pain; she is unable to ever work again; she cannot look after herself independently or care for her children. All these outcomes are the consequences of the untreated chlamydia and result in very substantial damages occasioned by the need for future care as well as a substantial claim for past gratuitous care offered to her and her children by her husband and parents in law. (paragraph 27)

D disputes that the consequences of the untreated chlamydia can explain her symptoms after February 2007 and also contends that the impact of the failure to treat was not as debilitating as C has maintained. (paragraph 28)

General Damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity:

The negligence was the failure to treat the chlamydia that caused pain, an ectopic pregnancy, removal of a fallopian tube, a reduction of opportunity for future conception, a somatoform disorder lasting from March 2007 through to the autumn of 2009, and a skin rash from September 2007 to the same end period. I have had regard to the JC Guidelines and the defendant’s submission on the level of social functioning during this period. I award £50,000… (paragraph 205)

[The court considered other heads of loss and provided an assessment of the awards]