Northampton family sue hospitals for £500,000 after surgery death

Brian Brock, Terry Brock and their solicitor Caron Heyes outside the High Court, Dec 3, 2014.
Brian Brock, Terry Brock and their solicitor Caron Heyes outside the High Court, Dec 3, 2014.

The family of a Northampton mum who died when a 
surgeon drilled into her brain are suing two hospitals for £500,000 in damages.

Rachel Bradshaw, aged 18, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham in February 2009.

The mother-of-one was suffering a catastrophic liver failure, having taken a paracetamol overdose days earlier when she split up with her boyfriend. Rachel had regretted the overdose and attended Northampton General Hospital, but her family claims staff did not act in time.

The alleged inaction, they say, led to her needing a liver transplant and being sent to Birmingham where the accident happened.

A surgeon decided to insert a pressure bolt into her skull, but, experts have agreed, drilled too far into the brain.

Rachel’s parents, Brian, 47, and Terry Brock, 50, of Langdale Road, Kingsthorpe, are suing on behalf of Rachel’s now seven-year-old daughter, Kyla, for the loss of her mum.

And they are claiming for the psychiatric damage of seeing their daughter die.

Both hospitals deny liability for injuries to the family. However, the Birmingham trust accepts the ‘negligent’ placement of the bolt killed Rachel.

The court heard Rachel had taken 14 paracetamol tablets and went to NGH, where her blood was tested.

Levels of the painkiller in her blood did not mean she needed immediate treatment and she was sent home.

Still feeling ill, she returned to see a GP at the hospital, but was again sent home.

She later collapsed in front of her mum and was rushed back to hospital.

The family allege NGH was negligent in not testing Rachel’s blood the second time she went to hospital.

NGH pointed out that its A&E staff did not see her between her first time in hospital and after her collapse, so did not have a duty of care.