Settlement agreed for shoulder injury sustained during physiotherapy treatment

SG v Allied Health Professionals Suffolk

Mr SG, a 69 year old man, underwent a left total knee replacement in May 2016. By July 2016 Mr SG joined a gym to start rehabilitation but progress was slow. On 16th May 2017 he underwent a session of physiotherapy using an exercise bike which he struggled with. On 1st June 2017 he attended for a further session of physiotherapy using an exercise bike. At this session, Mr SG was not assessed by the physiotherapist for his degree of knee flexion nor was the position of the seat calibrated to accommodate his height and knee flexion function. As he began to position correctly on the bike, he could not fit his left foot in the left stirrup and so leaned his body to try and get his foot in. Mr SG collapsed to the floor forcibly on to his right shoulder with the exercise bike falling on top of him. The Physiotherapist had not been supervising closely enough to prevent the fall.

The precise happening of the accident was clearly in dispute and the contemporaneous medical records were not consistent with Mr SG’s version of events.

Mr SG developed problems with his right shoulder and consulted Peter Flory, a Consultant at Price Slater Gawne, in July 2017 to investigate his claim.

Supportive evidence was obtained from an Expert in Physiotherapy and subsequently from an Orthopaedic Expert with a special interest in shoulders.

By August 2019 a Letter of Claim was sent to NHS Resolution (NHSR). In January 2020 NHSR sent a Letter of Response accepting there had been inadequate clinical supervision of Mr SG on 1st June 2017, but disputing the degree of the shoulder injury advanced in Mr SG’s claim. The NHSR invited Mr SG to settle his claim on amicable grounds.

An Advice was obtained from an experienced barrister specialising in clinical negligence litigation.

The Claim was settled by amicable negotiation in the global sum of £30,000 in favour of Mr SG on 15th June 2020 just over three years after the original injury was sustained and without the need for formal court proceedings.