Craig Purshouse, ‘The Impatient Patient and the Unreceptive Receptionist: Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2018] UKSC 50′

Abstract
In Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2018] UKSC 50, the Supreme Court held that a hospital receptionist’s misleading statement about A&E waiting times constituted a breach of duty and that the claimant’s decision, based on this misinformation, to leave the hospital did not break the chain of causation when he was left paralysed as a result of a head injury. In this commentary, I argue that while the Supreme Court’s treatment of duty of care and breach is, for the most part, a model of doctrinal clarity, its treatment of the causation issue is problematic as it elides the test of whether there has been a break in the chain of causation with that for remoteness. I then comment on the Supreme Court’s construction of the patient in medical negligence cases.

Craig Purshouse, The Impatient Patient and the Unreceptive Receptionist: Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2018] UKSC 50, Medical Law Review, https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwy042. Published: 27 December 2018.

Leave a Reply