Case study: Vulnerable patient injured after being dropped by ambulance crew

Compensation: £4,500


Patrick, Merseyside

JMW helped a vulnerable patient to secure £4,500 in compensation when he sustained an injury after being dropped by medical staff.

An ambulance crew failed to undertake an adequate risk assessment and dropped wheelchair user Patrick, 82, causing him significant injury and distress. His case was taken on by Katie Nolan, one of the medical negligence experts at JMW, who was successful in securing £4,500 for his family.

Patrick had had both of his legs amputated due to complications arising from his diabetes. He was also obese and living in a care home at the time of the incident. His significant disability and size meant that he required extra care when being lifted and moved around.

Ambulance called due to breathing difficulties

When Patrick began suffering with breathing difficulties, carers at the home he was living in called an ambulance. A hoist from the care home was used to transfer Patrick to the ambulance, with the crew members who assessed him noting that his shortness of breath was probably being caused by fluid collecting on his lungs. The ambulance crew then transported Patrick to his local hospital.

Dropped by the ambulance crew

On arrival Patrick was assessed and placed initially on a resuscitation bed, but was then redirected to a cubicle in a ward for seriously ill patients. However, during the transfer to this ward, Patrick was dropped by the ambulance crew from a reported height of six to eight inches. Patrick sustained a large cut to his head and severe bruising to his torso.

Patrick was discharged three days later after treatment for his injuries and a chest infection. However, his family was not told of the incident and the reason for his injuries only came to light after they made a complaint about his treatment. His family said that he never fully recovered from the incident and remained in a low mood. A few weeks later, Patrick sadly passed away.


Patrick’s family was so upset by the treatment he received at the hands of the ambulance crew that they sought advice from JMW. Expert solicitor Katie Nolan investigated the care provided and found that the ambulance crew had not undertaken an adequate risk assessment, and therefore had not taken the appropriate care needed to manoeuvre Patrick safely.

Although nothing could compensate Patrick’s family for the fact that they lost him in distressing circumstances, Katie was able to obtain £4,500 to help them cope

If you or someone you know has experienced a similar case of medical negligence, call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form, and we can discuss your case and offer the advice you need.

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