Most medical negligence claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.If your claim is unsuccessful, there is no financial risk to you as all your legal fees will be covered*. As part of the Co-op Group our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.
General Practitioner Negligence Claims
Doctors who work in General Practice (GP), or General Practitioners (GPs), are an essential part of the NHS and generally they provide excellent care. However, sometimes GPs or doctors do make mistakes that can lead to either an avoidable injury or a poorer outcome.
A variety of medical negligence claims can arise from GP care including:
- Failure to examine
- Failure to refer patient
- Failure to act on test results
- Failure to recognise red-flag symptoms.
- Inappropriate prescription/prescription error.
If you feel that a GP or doctor has made a medical mistake which has led to an avoidable injury or a poorer outcome, you should speak to a Co-op Medical Negligence Solicitor who can review the details you provide and offer initial legal advice, free of charge.
If your Medical Negligence Solicitor feels your GP claim is valid, the Solicitor can investigate the care you received by studying your medical records and, if necessary, instructing independent medical experts to advise.
If the investigation suggests that your GP has made a mistake which has caused an avoidable injury or a poorer outcome, your Medical Negligence Solicitor will share the outcome of the investigation with your GP or, if appropriate, their Medical Defence Organisation (an organisation that provides professional indemnity for healthcare professionals).
If the other side agrees that a medical mistake has occurred, your Medical Negligence Solicitor can then work to agree the impact of the mistake and the right amount of compensation that you should receive.
If the other side deny liability (fault) your Medical Negligence Solicitor can start litigation to secure a fair compensation settlement for you. Most of our claims settle out of Court, so in most cases it would not be necessary to go to Court.
GP Medical Negligence Case Example
The GP Negligence case below (not dealt with by Co-op Legal Services but reported in a legal database**) demonstrate how Medical Negligence Solicitors can work to secure compensation and rehabilitation support for their clients.
The Case of Mr O
Mr O was 42 years old when he noticed a small red mark under his right eye. In July 2007, he visited his GP who diagnosed a skin infection and prescribed a cream (Fusidic Acid). Mr O revisited his same GP the following month as the red mark had not improved. On that occasion, the GP prescribed antibiotics and no follow-up was arranged.
By April 2008, Mr O had developed 2 noticeable scabs under the eye. He revisited the GP surgery and had a consultation with Dr Y. Dr Y prescribed topical cream and did not arrange any follow-up.
Between October 2008 and September 2009, Mr O revisited the GP surgery on 4 occasions. On each occasion he had a consultation with Dr R. Dr R diagnosed a skin infection and prescribed antibiotics, a skin wash as a last resort and then a referral to a dermatologist.
In November 2009, Mr O revisited the GP Surgery and had a consultation with a 4th GP. The GP, noting the previous use of antibiotics, advised that Mr O should be referred if the infection did not clear up over the next fortnight.
In January 2010, Mr O revisited the GP surgery and had a further consultation with the 4th GP. The GP diagnosed chronic conjunctivitis. A swab was taken and sent off for analysis. The swab was later reported as being satisfactory.
In February 2010, Dr Y referred Mr O to Ophthalmology.
The Ophthalmology consultation took place in March 2010. The ophthalmologist immediately suspected basal cell carcinoma and ordered an urgent biopsy. The biopsy, in April 2010, confirmed basal cell carcinoma.
Mr O underwent successful surgeries in August 2010 and January 2011.
Mr O instructed Medical Negligence Solicitors to investigate whether there had been an unacceptable delay in diagnosing the basal cell carcinoma. His Solicitors’ initial investigation revealed that there had been a delay in diagnosis which had resulted in him requiring more aggressive surgery causing a greater cosmetic deformity, compromised eyelid function, inflammation, multiple surgical procedures and psychological distress.
The GP paid Mr O medical negligence compensation of £35,000.
About General Practitioners
In the medical profession, a General Practitioner is a medical doctor who is often the first point of contact for patients in their local community. Their role involves caring for the health of the whole patient, this combines physical, psychological, health education and social aspects of care.
During a patient’s consultation with a GP, the GP will try to identify any problems at the earliest stage. These problems are incredibly varied and might include infection, cancer, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, brain haemorrhage, stroke, ulcers, fractures, testicular torsion etc.
GPs Main responsibilities include:
- Treating patients with a variety of medical conditions
- Prescribing drugs
- Providing vaccinations
- Running clinics e.g. diabetes, asthma
- Performing minor surgical procedures
- Referring patients to hospitals and other services for urgent and/or specialist care
- Checking test result and advising on next steps
- Signing death certificates
- Certifying fitness to work.
GPs usually work in medical practices. The medical practice team will normally include nurses and healthcare assistants. In addition, practices usually work closely with health visitors, midwives, mental health services and social care services.
*Subject to entering into and complying with the terms of a No Win No Fee Agreement and taking out and complying with the terms of an After The Event insurance policy (when appropriate).
** Case reported in the Personal Injuries Quantum Database of LexisNexis.
Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.