Worcestershire Royal Hospital added Mrs Bragg to a retina clinic waiting list rather than seeing her within two weeks as National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines recommend, according to Irwin Mitchell
A great-grandmother from Kidderminster is warning of the dangers of a common eye condition after a six-month treatment delay left her with permanent sight problems.
Linda Bragg was referred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in December 2018 after an optician diagnosed her with suspected wet age-related macular degeneration (wet MD), a condition which affects the central part of vision.
The condition came on suddenly over two weeks, with the optician referring her as soon as it was identified.
The hospital added Mrs Bragg to a retina clinic waiting list rather than seeing her within two weeks as National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines recommend, according to medical negligence lawyers Irwin Mitchell.
A month after the first referral she was referred to the hospital for a second time in January 2019 by the optician after her sight continued to deteriorate.
However, the 71-year-old, who said she had phoned three times asking for an appointment, wasn’t seen by a doctor until nearly six months after her first referral.
Mrs Bragg was diagnosed with wet MD on June 5 2019, and had five injections in a bid to improve her vision, but these were unsuccessful. She has been left with permanent reduced vision and is now eligible to be registered as partially sighted.
I just hope that by sharing my story I can help raise awareness of wet MD so others have an understanding of it. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through the ordeal I have, she said.
She instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
She has now joined her legal team in using National Eye Health Week to call for lessons to be learned. Irwin Mitchell has said the trust admitted a breach of duty and apologised to Mrs Bragg.
Jenna Harris, the expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: Mrs Bragg has been left devastated by what happened to her and how she has lost a lot of her independence because of her greatly reduced sight.
While we welcome the Trust’s admissions and apology, it’s now vital that lessons are learned to improve patient care and safety for others, Harris said.
Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS, said: We are very sorry that we did not meet the high standards of patient care we set ourselves on this occasion.
He said: We are aware of Ms Braggs’ concerns and are liaising with her solicitors. It would therefore be inappropriate to make any further comment at this time.
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