Misdiagnosis Of Cancer Compensation Claims22nd Jul 2015
Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most terrifying and traumatic experiences a patient will ever face.
Any major surgery is painful, frightening and carries a level of risk – and when cancer is diagnosed and your life is at stake, the psychological impact can be far higher.
Then you are told you never had cancer; the doctors got it wrong; the highly invasive surgery which removed part of your body was unnecessary.
Our Legal 500 recommended medical negligence solicitors are currently dealing with a number of cases involving cancer misdiagnosis.
In one case, a patient in her 50s was told that she had ovarian cancer and that it was terminal. She was given four months to live – only then to be told it was a mistake.
She is still in pain following the operation to remove her ovaries. There has been neurological damage. She finds it difficult and painful to bend down.
Another man, a self-employed gardener was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in his tonsils.
He had them removed – and was then told there had been a mistake with the biopsy, leading to a misdiagnosis of cancer. The slide had been contaminated.
Any relief he might have felt at not having cancer after all has been far exceeded by the anger he feels at having had unnecessary and painful surgery which also resulted in loss of earnings.
These are by no means isolated cases.
In total, the NHS last year spent £1.1 billion on compensating victims of its clinical negligence. That is almost double the amount it spent six years ago.
Britain’s health service is a postcode lottery. Some hospital trusts are far worse than others. Just 20 hospital trusts have between them have accounted for at least £1 billion in compensation payouts over the last five years.
Taking legal action against the NHS is easier now thanks to the ‘no win fee’ process. But it still requires specialist legal advice from a firm with UK-wide experience because some NHS trusts persist in trying to deny and defend indefensible medical errors.
For expert advice on cancer misdiagnosis claims and other cases of clinical negligence, contact Coles Miller Partner Lydia Barnett, 01202 673011.