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Colin Gumbleton, a double amputee, relied on Legal Aid to successfully bring his case against the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath.
Picture courtesy of the Somerset Guardian.
In June 2001, Colin Gumbleton, a father of four and a grandfather of five, who lives in Paulton, near Bath, went on holiday to Spain where he contracted Legionnaire’s Disease. He spent 51 days in a coma in a Spanish hospital where his sub-standard care left him with deep pressure sores on his torso, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
He was transferred to England and admitted to the RUH in Bath in September 2001, suffering from peripheral arterial disease – a chronic condition which impairs circulation. However, the RUH did not carry out the necessary assessments on admission or during the three months he was in hospital which would have led to appropriate treatment.
It was only when Colin was readmitted to the RUH in April 2003 because the sores in his lower limbs were not healing, that the RUH carried out duplex ultrasound scans for the first time. By that stage it was too late to reverse the extensive internal damage which had been done and in July 2003, Colin’s right leg was amputated and in July 2004, his left leg was amputated.
Colin’s case against the RUH, which was settled out of court in May 2010, was to establish that the substandard treatment he had received from the RUH resulted in the amputation of his legs.
Colin’s personal response
“I think it’s disgusting that the Government would even consider scrapping Legal Aid. At the end of the day, it’s ordinary, hard-working people like me who will be affected. Without Legal Aid, I could not have brought my case against the Royal United Hospital in Bath. I would have been denied access to justice and the compensation I needed to enable me to recover some of my independence. Thanks to Legal Aid and the tireless efforts of my solicitors Withy King, I have now received the compensation which has allowed me to buy a wheelchair and a specially adapted car with a lift and hoist so that I can get around on my own. They have made all the difference to my life and I dread to think where I would be now, without them.”