Possible negligence claim over care of breast cancer patient with mental health difficulties

Hospital bosses could face a negligence claim over the care of a breast cancer sufferer with mental health difficulties, a judge has been told.

The 49-year-old woman has been at the centre of litigation in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in London.

Mrs Justice Roberts has heard that the woman is due to undergo surgery in the next few weeks.

But lawyers representing the woman have suggested that doctors were too slow to recognise that she had mental health difficulties and hospital bosses too slow to ask a Court of Protection judge to decide what treatment was in her best interests.

Barrister Vikram Sachdeva QC, who leads the woman’s legal team, has suggested that doctors should have been aware of the woman’s mental health problems, and capacity to make decisions, months ago when she denied having cancer.

He has told Mrs Justice Roberts that a negligence claim might be launched.

The woman has been represented by staff from the office of the Official Solicitor, who help people with mental health difficulties embroiled in litigation and have instructed Mr Sachdeva.

Mrs Justice Roberts has ruled that neither the woman, who is being treated in London, nor the NHS hospital trust responsible for her care can be named in media reports of the case.

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