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Elderly Lady

Former NHS worker appeals for information on Stanney Lane Clinic and Countess of Chester Hospital after asbestos-related cancer diagnosis

A former NHS worker is appealing for help to find the cause of her asbestos exposure after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Posted on 28 February 2019

Grandmother Judith Smith, 66, was diagnosed two years ago with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer. She suspects that her condition may relate to her time at Stanney Lane Clinic between 1993 and 1994 or the radiology department at Countess of Chester Hospital between 1997 and 1998 and is appealing for anyone who worked in those buildings to come forward with information.
Judith, who still lives in Chester, worked at Stanney Lane Clinic in Ellesmere Port, part of the Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, as a medical secretary between 1993 and 1994. It has been confirmed in documents obtained following a Freedom of Information Act Disclosure request that the building in which she worked contained asbestos.
She later moved to a position as a personal assistant to the clinical director of radiology at the Countess of Chester Hospital between 1997 and 2001. During this time Judith worked in the x-ray department.
Leigh Day has recently been made aware that there was a substantial period of building works being undertaken in the radiology department at the hospital, estimated to be between 1997 and 2000. This building works could have led to the disturbance of asbestos.
In 2016, Judith began suffering with what she thought was a chest infection. Tests found that she had pleural effusion, excess fluid that accumulates around the lung.
After a year of further tests, Judith had an operation which revealed a lump around the size of a 10 pence piece. The results showed that Judith had mesothelioma, cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Judith said: “This illness has been devastating for me and my family. I have been told that is likely that I have the illness because asbestos was used where I worked.
“I worked in a clerical job and paid little attention to work that was being done around me by tradesmen. If anyone has any information about how asbestos was used in the workplaces where I worked I would encourage them to contact my solicitors.”
Steven Dickens, asbestos claims solicitor at Leigh Day, said: “Following Judith’s diagnosis, we are working hard to find the source of Judith’s exposure to asbestos in the hope that we can secure compensation that would help with her treatment and care.
“Mesothelioma is only caused by asbestos exposure. She believes that the exposure could have been from her time working at the Stanney Lane Clinic in Ellesmere Port and Countess of Chester Hospital due to there being confirmation of asbestos in the building as well as substantial building work being undertaken during her time of employment.
“We are appealing for anybody who worked at the Stanney Lane Clinic between 1993 and 1994 or anybody who worked in the radiology department at the Countess of Chester Hospital between 1997 and 2000 to contact us.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Steven Dickens via: sdickens@leighday.co.uk or by phone on: 0161 393 3574.