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Aberdeenshire mum launches legal action against NHS Grampian over daughter's long COVID treatment

The mother of an 11-year-old girl with long COVID has launched legal action against a health board in what is thought to be one of the first cases of its kind in Scotland.

Helen Goss, from Westhill in Aberdeenshire, is seeking damages from NHS Grampian on behalf of her daughter, Anna Hendy.

The action - led by Thompsons Solicitors Scotland - claims medical negligence towards the schoolgirl, who has suffered from long COVID since March 2020.

NHS Grampian said it could not comment on individual patient cases.

Anna has been unable to return to school, needs the use of a wheelchair, and is often confined to her bed.

In a statement posted on X, Ms Goss said her family had "tirelessly navigated and exhausted all avenues within NHS Grampian".

She claimed the family had faced "medical gaslighting, dismissal and had constantly been denied NHS care".

Ms Goss added: "It is regrettable that pursuing legal action seems to be the only viable option to progress and secure the healthcare that Anna urgently requires and rightfully deserves.

"NHS Grampian has neglected to uphold Anna's right to the best possible health, as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Article 24.

"The health board also exhibited a lack of seriousness in addressing our formal complaint, attempting to close it without resolution on four separate occasions."

Ms Goss has sought private treatment for Anna which she said "should and could" have been provided by NHS Grampian.

She added: "Despite repeated requests to the health board, the necessary treatment and care were consistently denied.

"This failure on the part of NHS Grampian to fulfil their duty of care has resulted in medical negligence, causing additional harm and trauma to Anna and our family."

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The family are "hopeful" for a positive resolution to the case.

In addition to damages, Ms Goss is also seeking a formal apology from the health board and improved clinical protocols for youngsters with long COVID.

Ms Goss, who is the chief operating officer for charity Long Covid Kids, said funding for the condition is "inadequate and insulting".

She added: "Our unwavering commitment to improving outcomes for the health and wellbeing of our young people will persist with unrelenting determination for as long as it takes."

NHS Grampian said it was in the process of creating a new treatment pathway for children affected by the condition.

A new website allowing families to share their experiences is also in the works.

A spokesperson for the health board said: "NHS Grampian has a long COVID project board and a long COVID paediatric steering group which help to inform our work.

"We also now have a paediatric long COVID practitioner as well as a paediatric clinical lead for long COVID. Children who are suffering with symptoms are managed by the appropriate clinicians according to their needs.

"The team is always happy to hear from those who have experienced long COVID, as well as parents and carers, regardless of the severity of their symptoms."