GP Negligence in the UK
What is GP Negligence?
GP negligence describes a situation where a GP provides care that falls below the reasonably acceptable standard and causes a patient to suffer avoidable injuries and losses.
How Should a GP Manage a Patient’s Condition?
Before providing any form of treatment, a GP must consider the medical history of the patient, conduct a thorough examination and, where necessary, make arrangements for further investigations such as blood tests, x-rays or scans.
In most cases, the GP will be able to provide the treatment and advice that the patient needs to feel better. However, when they are unable to do so, it is their responsibility to make arrangements for the patient to be managed by the right type of medical professional – and provide the medical professional with accurate information about the kind of help the patient needs.
If there is an emergency, the GP may request for an ambulance to send the patient to a hospital or reach out to the family to take the patient to a hospital’s accident and emergency department. When a patient is sent by a GP to a hospital, they will usually advise the hospital of the patient’s health problems and the need for emergency attention.
Even after a patient receives treatment and leaves the hospital, the GP may still be informed about the patient’s ongoing needs, so they can follow up on the patient. This means the GP may help in prescribing medication, explaining test results, requesting further investigations or even making referrals back to the hospital if the patient requires further specialist attention.
During consultations with patients, a GP must:
- Carefully listen to the patient’s concerns
- Take note of the patient’s medical records
- Identify warning signs of a condition
- As questions to gain clarity about a patient’s health problem
- Take action by providing treatment, referring to a hospital or advising the patient
How Can GP Negligence Affect You?
Many medical conditions may become more serious if a GP fails to carry out their responsibility when it comes to diagnosis, treatment or referral. Serious conditions can be made worse and lead to further health problems. Conditions which commonly lead to GP negligence claims include:
This allows the abnormal cell growth to progress to a more severe stage, regardless of the type of cancer involved. GPs are often the first medical professionals a patient will contact when they go to the NHS and they usually provide the initial diagnosis of the condition. If a GP fails to provide the right diagnosis or delays treatment when cancer is suspected, this can directly affect a patient’s chances of survival.
Stroke misdiagnosis can expose a patient to increased risk of a similar or even more severe stroke affecting the patient in future.
A GP may be responsible for assessing the health of care home residents. If they fail to identify warning signs of pressure sores or misdiagnose conditions such as malnutrition or injuries from falls, these issues could get worse. Misdiagnosis of any of these inflictions can be particularly critical to the health of elderly, vulnerable patients. If a GP fails to provide an acceptable standard of care in a care home facility, you may be able to pursue GP negligence claims compensation.
If a GP fails to recognise warning signs of conditions such as cerebral palsy or other birth related injuries in children, this can lead to delays in vital support like physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Ultimately, the child may suffer permanent damage.
Misdiagnosis of injuries like broken bones, fractures and injuries to the neck, back, shoulder and leg as mere aches or bruising can make these conditions get worse. Its impact could have been avoided if the GP ensured prompt diagnosis and/or treatment.
Differentiating GP Complaints and GP Negligence Claims
If you are unhappy with the standard of treatment provided by your GP, you may not only seek GP negligence compensation to cover for the injury you suffered, but also want your injury acknowledged by the liable party. If you believe you have been mistreated by there are no grounds for making a claim, our GP negligence lawyers will be able to advise you on how the formal complaint process works and then determine whether you can pursue a claim for GP medical negligence.
The NHS has a robust complaint process that allows patients to register their concerns about the quality of service they received at the NHS.
How Do I Know If I Have a GP Negligence Claim?
You may be entitled to a GP negligence compensation claim if your case meets the following criteria:
You are expected to show that your GP acted in a way that falls below the acceptable standard of care. A reasonable body of medical opinion will determine whether your GP has acted negligently using a test known as the Bolam principle
You are also expected to show a direct link between the injury you suffered and failure on the part of your GP to uphold their duty of care towards you. Causation helps to determine whether you would have suffered the same injury even if your GP provided the right standard of care.
Making Complaints About Your GP
You can make a complaint about any aspect of your GP’s care either verbally or in writing. You about make a complaint about your GP’s standard of care if you have been a victim of any of the following:
- You are unable to get an appointment for an urgent health issue with your GP. The government stipulates that patients should be able to get appointments with 48 hours
- Bad communication
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Incorrect treatment
- Medication or prescription errors
- Significant and unreasonable delay in letting you know about your test results;
- Your GP ignores warning signs and symptoms
- Your GP fails to warn about the risks of a particular procedure so you were unable to provide informed consent
- Lack of confidentiality
- Discrimination. For instance, your GP does not provide appropriate treatment due to your disability
- Delay or refusal to make referral to a specialist
- Delays in providing critical information to other healthcare professionals.
When it comes to GP negligence, it can be confusing to determine who can be held accountable for the injury you suffered as most GPs are not under the direct employ of the NHS. They mostly work on a contractual basis. Usually, you can make complaints to the General Medical Council. However, if you are unsure about the complaints process, our GP negligence lawyers can guide you on how to direct your complaint to those responsible.
Making GP Negligence Claims
Medical negligence is a complex subject and proving your GP has failed to uphold his/her duty of care towards you can be difficult. So, if you are considering making a claim against your GP, the first step is to get in touch with a GP negligence lawyer who is experienced in dealing with cases like yours.
When you get in touch with us, we will offer a free, no obligation consultation with one of our GP negligence lawyers who will discuss circumstances surrounding your case and offer expert advice on whether you have a good chance of making a successful claim.
If our solicitors agree to start a claim, they will issue court proceedings on your behalf and send a letter of claim to the alleged negligent party, detailing your concerns and what you hope to achieve with the claim. In most cases, the GP negligence is obvious and the defendant accepts liability, which means the case can be settled out of court. Where they deny liability or fail to offer a fair compensation amount, the case would likely go to the courts.
How Much GP Negligence Compensation Will I Receive?
The compensation award you will receive will depend on a number of factors:
- The nature and site of your injury
- The severity of your injury
- The impact of the injury on your lifestyle and ability to work
- Recovery period
- Possible complications from the injury in future.
We will make arrangements for your condition to be assessed by an independent medical expert who will determine the nature and severity of your injuries, as well as provide a detailed prognosis report for your recovery. This report will form the foundation of the settlement negotiations.
In some cases, the medical expert we appoint may not be able to provide a final prognosis and may advise that you receive further medical care first. Our GP negligence solicitors will likely advise that you wait until you have received treatment before reaching an agreement for a compensation amount. This is because NHS related claims are settled on a “full and final” basis, so you cannot make claims for more money if your injury becomes worse than initially expected.
Usually, you will be able to make claims for general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for the direct impact of the negligent treatment you endured. On the other hand, special damages compensate for the out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury; this includes medical expenses, travel costs and loss of earnings.
Is There a Time Limit for GP Negligence Claims?
Yes. There is a 3-year time limit for claims for clinical negligence in the NHS, including GP negligence cases. However, if you were below the age of 18 at the time of the incident, you will have three years from your 18th birthday to start the claim.
We advise that you seek expert legal support with an experienced GP negligence lawyer at the earliest opportunity, even if you are still recovering from the injury.
How Long Will My GP Negligence Claim Take?
Unlike processing times for GP negligence claims, there is no specific timescale for the duration of a claim. The amount of time your claim takes will depend on factors such as:
- Nature of your injury
- Recovery period for your injury
- How long it takes to determine the impact on your life
- Whether the alleged negligent party accepts or denies liability.
How Long Will My GP Negligence Claim Take?
Our GP negligence solicitors make most claims on a No Win No Fee basis. This means you wouldn’t incur the financial risks of making a medical negligence claim; our solicitors will shoulder the risks on your behalf.
You won’t have to pay any upfront solicitor fees; if you lose, you will not pay us a penny. If your claim is successful, a success fee will be deducted from your final compensation award. You can rest assured we will hold you by the hand through this process to help you make an informed decision.
How Our Solicitors Can Help
To make successful GP negligence claims, you must show that you have suffered an injury. This injury, in turn, was a direct result of GP medical negligence. Solicitors at nhsnegligenceclaim.com have the knowledge and experience required to handle the typically stressful and time-consuming medical negligence process. You can trust us to provide the advice and support you need to navigate this process and receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Do not hesitate to give us a call today on 0800 644 4240 or fill our online claim assessment form and one of our specialist solicitors will call you at your earliest convenience.
Q: What are GP negligence claims?
These are claims made by an individual who has suffered injuries as a result of negligent treatment on the part of a GP. A GP is usually the first port of call when you need medical help, so it can be painful and devastating when they fail to provide an acceptable standard of care.
Q: How do I know if I have a claim for GP negligence?
If your GP has misdiagnosed your condition, failed to provide the right treatment, failed to refer you to a specialist, or failed to carry out tests for underlying issues, you may be entitled to a claim for GP negligence compensation. This is not exhaustive; if you suspect you may have suffered GP negligence which is not listed here, our solicitors can advise you on the next step to take.
Q: How can I claim GP medical negligence compensation?
To make a successful GP negligence claim, you need to prove that you have suffered an injury as a direct result of the actions or inactions of your GP. Our solicitors can help establish GP medical negligence on your behalf and pursue claims to secure the compensation you deserve.