Hospital infection

national health service

Case category:

Hospital infection

Case summary:

  • The case involved contracting clostridium difficile during an inpatient stay in hospital. The patient later died (unrelated to the negligence) and the claim was subsequently brought on behalf of her Estate by her husband/widower.
  • A Pre-Action Protocol Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant.
  • A limitation holiday was sought, to allow the Defendant to complete their investigations and provide a Protocol reply, before the need to incur the costs of issuing Court proceedings.
  • Regrettably, the Defendant refused to agree a limitation holiday and averred that liability was going to be denied anyway. The Claimant therefore had to issue Court proceedings, and did so protectively.
  • The Defendant did not send a Protocol response but, after proceedings had been issued, sought to negotiate a settlement to the claim.


The claim eventually settled for £3,000.

Comment from the Claimant’s solicitor

“Without the benefit of the ATE insurance from Temple, the Claimant would not have been able to proceed with the claim and commence court proceedings. He would not have been able to afford to do so and did not have BTE insurance. Without ATE insurance, the claim would likely have been discontinued and the Claimant would not have won £3,000.
While this may be seen as a ‘low’ value claim, for the widower the settlement was a significant sum of money and moreover, it was of great importance for him to see ‘justice done’ to his late wife.”