Search

£5m payout for brain damaged Archway woman made to wait 100 minutes for ambulance

PUBLISHED: 14:32 17 June 2014 | UPDATED: 16:52 18 June 2014

Caren Paterson  (Picture: Irwin Mitchell)

Caren Paterson (Picture: Irwin Mitchell)

Archant

An Archway woman left brain damaged after having to wait more than 100 minutes for an ambulance has been awarded a compensation package worth £5million.

When Caren Paterson collapsed in the bedroom of her flat in Hargrave Road, in October 2007, her boyfriend called 999 reporting that she was unconscious, breathing abnormally and her lips had turned blue.

But because her address was inexplicably flagged as being on the “high risk” register, the ambulance crew was told to wait for a police escort, law firm Irwin Mitchell said.

There were no police available at the time and, despite two more 999 calls, the emergency medical team waited for over an hour just 100 metres from the flat.

Ms Paterson eventually suffered a cardiac arrest, five minutes before police and an ambulance team arrived.

The delay has left the 36-year-old, who was working as a genetic scientist at King’s College, with chronic amnesia, confusion and disorientation with the result she will never work again and need 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Today, Judge Richard Parkes QC approved a settlement against London Ambulance Service NHS Trust consisting of a £1.4m lump sum plus lifelong annual payments.

He paid tribute to the support and devotion of Caren’s mother, Eleanor Paterson, from Warkworth, Northumberland, who was at London’s High Court for the hearing.

Afterwards, Mrs Paterson said: “My daughter was a successful and ambitious scientist but it is so distressing that all of her aspirations and ambitions have been taken away from her because of her brain injury.

“I was determined to ensure Caren had access to the best possible care and support for the rest of her life and it is such a huge relief that the settlement has been approved today.

“Clearly we would rather not be in this situation at all and nothing will ever return our daughter to how she was before. But it is a weight off our minds to know that she will now be able to continue to receive the care, treatment and specialist attention that she needs.

“The thought of an ambulance crew sitting waiting round the corner while my daughter lay in her flat as her condition went from serious to life-threatening, causing irreparable damage to her brain, is still shocking and I hope no-one ever has to go through what we have.”

Philip Havers QC, for the trust, expressed its “sincere apologies” to the family for the shortcomings which had occurred and said it hoped and believed that the damages would go a long way to providing for Ms Paterson’s needs in the future.

And after the hearing, the trust’s deputy director of operations Katy Millard repeated the organisation’s apologies and said “significant changes” had been made to the register over the last seven years.

“Of the three million households in London, there are now only around 600 addresses on the register,” she said.

“Now, our crews assess each situation themselves when they get to the scene and will only ever delay treatment if they believe they are in danger.”

Lawyer John Davis, of Irwin Mitchell, said Ms Paterson was currently receiving care at a specialist unit but it was hoped eventually she might live in her own home with a team of well-trained brain injury carers.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

09:56

An off-licence faces being shut down after being caught by police buying booze stolen from Sainsbury’s.

07:55

A corrupt former prison officer from Clerkenwell has been sentenced after she was caught smuggling 117 grams of cannabis and four phones into a young offenders’ institution.

Yesterday, 14:06

A schizophrenic man who stabbed a Holloway teenager to death at their hostel has been given a hospital order after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Yesterday, 12:49

“The Arsenal wants to knock down homes and expand its capacity by nearly a third. Most people in the community, even if they are fervent Gunners fans, don’t want to see homes demolished to make the people who own the Arsenal even richer. We can stop our community being wrecked if we begin a campaign now.”

Yesterday, 10:18

A man was stabbed in Essex Road last night.

Yesterday, 08:15

A suitcase, believed to be carrying a bomb, was dumped outside Islington Labour headquarters – where Jeremy Corbyn had an office.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Football is still prejudiced against LGBT people. But Arsenal’s huge Gay Gooners fan club is fighting this. The Gazette speaks to chairman Dave Raval.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Green and Lib Dem candidates are no threat to Labour in Islington – despite warning signs the party’s stance on Brexit could damage it locally, a senior party source has insisted.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now