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Misdiagnosis of athlete's foot results in leg amputation and compensation of £750,000

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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The Daily mail has recently reported that a businessman from Weston-super-Mare had to have part of his right leg amputated after being told a serious diabetic infection was merely ‘athlete’s foot’.

Bob Wareham, 54, who suffers from diabetes, first began to experience problems with an infection in his right foot in August 2008. He attended the out of hours GP service based next to Weston General Hospital and was diagnosed as suffering from athlete’s foot.  Mr Wareham was prescribed antibiotics.

Mr Wareham continued to suffer with symptoms of an infection and subsequently attended the Accident and Emergency Department at Weston Hospital just two days later when the diabetic foot infection was diagnosed.  Despite this, Mr Wareham was not referred to a specialist team nor was he admitted to hospital, in what has now been deemed a ‘clear contravention of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s guidelines’.

It was a further three days before Mr Wareham returned to hospital.  Although he was admitted on this occasion it was an additional three days before Mr Wareham was referred to the relevant clinicians. In a devastating twist of fate, Mr Wareham was informed that part of his right leg would have to be amputated.  He underwent emergency surgery and was left with approximately 6 inches of leg below his right knee.

Following a three year legal battle, Mr Wareham has now received an out-of-court settlement in the sum of £750,000 for the losses he suffered.  Unfortunately, no amount of compensation can ever bring back a lost limb and Mr Wareham has had to adapt to the life changing consequences of the disastrous mistake he fell victim to.

By Paul Burrows