Seeking Compensation for GP Negligence in Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis – What Happens When GPs get it wrong?

Many patients have an excellent relationship with their family GP who forms the cornerstone of the primary care provided to the patient and their family.

However, when that trust is breached, consequences can be profound, especially when it comes to matters as crucial as early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Frequently we are approached to advise clients where there may have been a delay in diagnosing breast cancer by a GP.

General Practitioners (GPs) serve as the first port of call for patients seeking medical assistance. Their role is pivotal in identifying and referring patients for further investigations when symptoms warrant further specialist investigation. However, what happens when this vital link in the chain fails, leading to a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer?

Sarah’s Story – Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Imagine Sarah, a vibrant woman in her forties, who noticed a subtle change in her breast. Concerned, she promptly visited her GP, hoping for reassurance or early intervention. However, despite expressing her worries, Sarah’s GP dismissed her concerns as mere hormonal fluctuations, prescribing painkillers and advising her to monitor the situation.

Initially, Sarah was relieved that the lump was nothing to be concerned about but as weeks turned into months, and Sarah’s apprehension grew, the lump was still there and Sarah was exceptionally worried. Finally, seeking a second opinion, Sarah reached out to another Practitioner, having worried all day at work she called in at the local walk-in centre on the journey home. At the centre she saw another GP who swiftly referred her for diagnostic tests, revealing an aggressive form of breast cancer that had advanced due to the delay in diagnosis.

Sarah’s story is not uncommon. Sarah’s GP should have referred her directly to a Breast Clinic. The GP could not have safely reassured Sarah that all was well by a simple examination. Breast Clinics offer straightforward specialist investigations and support.

With a young family and facing a long period away from work whilst receiving intensive medical treatments, Sarah was advised to seek legal help.

Our team are very experienced in dealing with cases such as Sarah’s and we were able to guide her through the process of making a claim against the GP who had failed to refer her for investigations many months before.

Sarah’s case included claims for the financial losses faced by herself and her family as a result of being unable to work due to treatment that was more complex than would otherwise be the case. Sarah’s claim also included compensation for her family to take into account the possibility that her life would now be shortened because of the failure of her GP to refer her.

It was of course devastating to discover that had Sarah’s GP referred her for further investigations she would have received treatment within weeks of her attendance. In Sarah’s case, her cancer would have been less advanced and the treatment would have had a more positive outcome.

Speak to our Medically Qualified Solicitors today…

If you or your family have been affected by a similar situation our team is here to help. We have specialist and medically qualified solicitors, our initial advice is completely free of charge and confidential. Call us on 0191 691 3415 or request a callback on our website.

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