Clinical Negligence Team attended the 2nd Annual Oxford Medical Law Conference at Wadham College. The event was run by Three Sergeants' Inn and Oxford Neurosurgery." />

Second Annual Oxford Medical Law Conference at Wadham College

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The day consisted of a number of informative discussions from well renowned medical experts and barristers.

The first talk of the day was from Mr Fari Afshar, Consultant Neurosurgeon. He talked about a surgeon's view of clinical negligence claims and informed us that a delay of an hour in treating a patient with neurological problems can be the difference between total recovery and death. He also emphasised the importance of utilising specialist staff and facilities in order to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment possible.

Next up Christopher Johnston, QC at 3 Serjeants' Inn, talked about bringing a group action. He has been involved in a number of these cases, in particular in relation to the MMR jab, and the claim brought against the makers of Epilim given to pregnant mothers.

We were then treated to a talk from Dr Joseph de Bono, Consultant Cardiologist. He explained the symptoms of a heart attack and left us with some interesting statistics: 300,000 heart attacks occur every year; and half of all resulting deaths occur within 2 hours of the onset of symptoms. It is therefore of upmost importance that medical treatment is provided as soon as any symptoms are present.

After lunch Mr Richard Stacey, Consultant Neurosurgeon, gave a practical demonstration of the brain and spinal cord, and what happens to someone suffering from cauda equina. Barrister John de Bono then gave a short talk on NHS rationing, prompted in particular by the recent litigation over funding for Herceptin and other cancer drugs. Heidi Knight, Barrister, then gave a talk updating us on key cases which have been decided in 2011, and the implications of these for future claims.

Mr Bob Sharp, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, then gave a talk on pitfalls with lower limb surgery. Finally the day was rounded off with a talk from Mr Titus Adams, Consultant Plastic Surgeon. He explained that plastic surgery is on the rise and that a surgeon now might expect a claim once every two years. To reduce the risk of this he reiterated the importance of good communication with the patient and ensuring that detailed and accurate records are kept.

The day was a useful and interesting insight into the world of clinical negligence from the point of view of the medical profession, and provided excellent opportunities to increase our contacts within the medical profession.  

For more information about the event please contact Gemma Bailey, a Solicitor in Blake Lapthorn's Clinical Negligence Team on 023 8085 7248 / 023 9253 0389 or at

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