A former Peterborough trainee healthcare worker who sued the city’s hospital trust for more than £1 million after claiming an incident at work meant she permanently damaged her hand has been labelled as ‘dishonest’ after a court ruled against her.
Natasha Griffin (35) was working at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Peterborough City Hospital – in 2014 when she claimed she suffered serious damage to her hand as she tried to stop an elderly patient from falling over.
Griffin, sued the hospital trust for loss of future earnings and disability for in excess of £1m because she said she couldn’t work.
NHS Resolution – who deal with claims for compensation on behalf of the NHS in England and with appeals and disputes between primary care contractors and NHS England – started an investigation, and discovered she started up a business called ‘Relax with Wax’.
NHS Resolution said Griffin tried to hide the existence of her business from trust lawyers by using her married name of McLean. At this point, in 2017, she was already in receipt of disability benefits. Evidence provided to the court also showed that she could drive, despite her claim to the contrary.
Representing herself at Cambridge County Court last week, Griffin did not move her right arm, using her left arm exclusively. However, NHS Resolution videos obtained from Facebook and supplied to the court demonstrated that Griffin had good use of her right hand, the one she claimed had been permanently damaged.
Judge Robert Duddridge ruled that the trust was not liable and gave permission for in excess of £100,000 in legal costs to be recovered.
Helen Vernon, Chief Executive at NHS Resolution, said: “NHS Resolution welcomes the judge’s decision that the NHS is not liable in this case and that the process for recovery of legal costs can be started.
“We further welcome the judge’s finding that the claimant had been fundamentally dishonest. We will always support genuine claimants in achieving fair and timely compensation but this result is a clear message to those who seek to defraud the NHS and take money which could be used for patient care.”