Chris Barnes QC

Call 2000
Silk 2022

barnesqc@exchangechambers.co.uk

“An outstanding operator”

Legal 500 2022
Photo of Chris Barnes QC

Clinical Negligence

Chris specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. He represented the claimant in the recent case of EXN v Alder Hey Children’s Hospital [2021] EWHC 2989 (QB) (recovery of damages with a capitalised value of £27,300,000 for a child following the Defendant’s failure to identify, and treat, the herpes simplex virus). He has significant experience of clinical negligence claims in a range of settings, including:

OBSTETRIC NEGLIGENCE

Hypoxic injuries at birth and the failure to adequately monitor foetal distress and ECG tracing;

Shoulder dystocia and resulting hypoxia;

The failure to offer, and carry out, C-section where it was appropriate and/or mandated by the claimant’s condition (e.g. in the case of a morbidly obese claimant where chronic and longlasting infection arose from the resulting emergency, botched, C-section);

Failure to adequately advise a claimant on the likely effects on foetal health of her anti-epileptic medication;

Wrongful birth following failed sterilisation;

Wrongful birth following the negligent failure to advise on or carry out Down’s syndrome testing.

GENERAL HOSPITAL CARE

Pressure sores, some with very serious consequences (including death);

Failure to identify, adequately investigate and treat an aggressive encephalitis (with fatal consequences);

Negligent anaesthetic provision during surgery resulting in patient awareness (with very serious psychological consequences);

Failure to provide for, and treat, a claimant’s diabetic condition whilst on the orthopaedic ward resulting in hypoglycaemic attack, significant brain damage and, ultimately, death;
Nursing failures including the failure to complete management plans and assessments relating to falls, pressure sores and other risks;

Failure to adequately plan a claimant’s discharge from hospital, with inadequate OT assessment resulting in the provision of inappropriate mobility aids, a fall, catastrophic injury, and death;

Negligent anaesthetic provision resulting in stroke and death;

Negligent management of a claimant’s vascular condition resulting in multiple amputations of both legs (initially below-knee and subsequently above-knee);

Surgical negligence with the perforation of the bowel and failure to identify, and treat, the resulting problems;

Surgical negligence resulting in excessive removal of the bowel and, subsequently, Short Bowel Syndrome;

Surgical negligence in which forceps were left within the surgical cavity;
Failure (by an ENT team) to identify and appropriately treat a developing cancer of the larynx.

GENERAL PRACTITIONER

Failure to identify a developing sarcoma and to refer the Claimant on for further treatment;
Failure to identify other cancers (with a corresponding failure to refer on for further investigation);

Negligent prescription of inappropriate medication;

Negligent reporting of hospital testing (confusion as to the date of testing and, in one case, as to the identity of the claimant being tested).

ORTHOPAEDIC NEGLIGENCE

Failure to adequately treat a fractured scaphoid resulting, eventually, in wrist fusion;

Negligent knee replacement surgery with the misplacement of the prosthesis and the failure, thereafter, to recognise and correct the defect;

K-wiring of bilateral fractures of the humerus where internal fixation was required, resulting in an almost complete loss of use of the upper limbs;

Failure to identify interspinous widening following a soft tissue injury to the neck resulting, eventually, in cervical surgery.

MILITARY PERSONNEL

Claims relating to inappropriate or negligent management of rehabilitation regimes;
Claims relating to the inappropriate treatment of post-tour PTSD;

Claims arising from and relating to treatment abroad, both in MOD facilities and civilian ones;

Failure to identify an emerging Cauda Equina syndrome (concurrently, by both military and civilian medical personnel).