GP Treatment, Delay and Misdiagnosis Claims

General practitioners (GPs) are our first source of medical advice when we have concerns about our health. GPs are presented with a multitude of health issues and complaints on a daily basis which require them to carefully consider the reported symptoms, to carry out a thorough examination, to provide a diagnosis and to either provide treatment or refer the patient on to a specialist. If a GP has been negligent in your treatment, we can help you to secure compensation for the harm that you have suffered and its financial consequences.

GPs should guide the patient through a detailed history of their health issue, record the details and, where appropriate, carry out a thorough examination. They will often be able to provide advice and treatment at the end of the consultation, which may include prescribing medication. In some cases they will arrange blood tests or scans and, if they do so, it is important that they review the results when they are available and act upon them. GPs should provide specific ‘safety net’ advice on the expected timescales for recovery, the need to return if symptoms do not resolve, and the requirement to seek urgent assistance if symptoms worsen.

Where the GP identifies the need to refer the patient to a specialist, the urgency of the referral must be considered. Most referrals will be routine and the patient will receive an appointment to see the specialist in line with the current waiting lists. In some cases an urgent referral will be required, such as those involving the suspicion of cancer where a ‘two week wait’ referral is mandated. Sometimes an emergency ambulance transfer to hospital will be required, for example if the patient is thought to have had a heart attack or stroke or to be suffering from sepsis or meningitis.

After the patient has been seen by a specialist, or if the patient has attended Accident and Emergency/Emergency Department at their local hospital, a letter will be sent to the GP explaining the diagnosis, the treatment that has been provided and any actions that the GP needs to take. It is crucial that GPs carefully review these letters and take any necessary actions, including referral to the same or an alternative specialist if required.

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors have secured compensation for clients injured by GP negligence in the diagnosis and/or delayed treatment of cancer, sepsis, meningitis, cauda equina syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications, and cardiac problems including heart attack. GP negligence claims may include:

  • Failure to investigate symptoms
  • Failure to examine a patient
  • Failure to take/accurately record the medical history
  • Failure to arrange tests
  • Providing an incorrect diagnosis
  • Failure to refer to a specialist, delayed referrals, or failure to refer on an urgent basis
  • Failure to attend on a home visit
  • Failure to act on test results and/or follow up patients
  • Poor record keeping
  • Inappropriate prescribing of drugs
  • Failure to review medication

If you wish to discuss a potential clinical negligence claim with our specialist solicitors you can email us, use our online enquiry form, or call us for free on 0800 008 7450.