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Mother awarded £925,000 over NHS mistake

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Claire Thornber, a mother-of-two from Billington, has been awarded £925,000 in compensation after NHS doctors failed to treat her life-changing condition fast enough. Doctors dismissed Ms Thornber (42) on several occasions after she complained of back pain. However, it was later found out that actually had a prolapsed disc pressing on the nerves at the base of her spine, a painful condition known as cauda equina syndrome.

The condition resulted in Ms Thornber losing her successful cleaning company Scrubbers & Co as the pain in her legs and back made everything, even walking, excruciating. She is also doubly incontinent and has suffered a complete loss of sexual function as a result of the disorder.

‘Without the delay, Ms Thornber would have made a full recovery’

Ms Thornber said that she first started to experience the pain in August 2010. After receiving an MRI scan in September, it was found that she had a prolapsed disc. The radiographer at Royal Blackburn Hospital failed to class her case as an emergency, however, which left her condition untreated. Three days later Ms Thornber went to her GP, who suspected cauda equina syndrome. After being referred to an orthopaedic surgeon she was scheduled for surgery the next day. Unfortunately, it was too late and the condition was untreatable. It was heard that without this delay, Ms Thornber would have made a full recovery.

Ms Thornber has since started her own organisation to raise awareness of the condition and “ensure that medical professionals [are] alert to the signs“. For more information about Claire’s organisation visit

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