We believe any medical professional who acts negligently towards a patient should be held accountable. This includes Doctors/General Practitioners (GPs).

If your GP has acted negligently and caused issues with your treatment, our solicitors can help. Call us free on 0808 164 0808 today, or request a call back and we will get in touch.

GP negligence claims compensation

We help patients who have suffered at the hands of doctor negligence claim the compensation they deserve, and obtain some level of closure. People and their families should be able to trust the medical professionals who help them.

For many patients, a GP acts as an inquisitor, a detective, a counsellor and a guide. They are used to seeing dozens of patients in person during their working day, and have to be constantly alert.

What are some types of GP negligence cases?

The majority of claims against GPs do not concern harm done by their failure to administer treatment, but rather their failure to refer a patient for more specialist care. This can be damaging for patients as their condition may worsen and require more treatment, than what may have been needed if the referral was completed at the right time.

For GPs, this decision is made by using national guidelines for both themselves and their practice nurses, looking at evidence and then concluding when to refer a patient for specialist investigation and management.

Many claims against GPs will involve one or more of the following:

  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist consultant;
  • Delay in treating a condition, leading to a failure to refer;
  • Failure to notify a patient when an abnormal test result is received;
  • Failure to action an abnormal test result;
  • Failure to advise a patient what symptoms they should be on the lookout for – where deterioration will require specialist attention.

GP medical negligence after the pandemic

Now that telephone and virtual consultations have become a normal way to see your GP, there is a real danger that a full examination of presenting conditions will not be made. 

This could result in misdiagnosis, or no diagnosis at all.

In turn this may mean GPs start to miss ‘red flags’ for various conditions and fail to provide a service for those with more complex conditions. 

GP negligence claims: when are referrals necessary?

When is a referral mandatory? 

Simply put, a referral is necessary when the guidelines say so (more often or not produced by NICE). So for example, a patient over 40 years old with abdominal pain and weight loss should lead to a referral to a consultant within two weeks. If not, the GP may have a case to answer.

GPs must set out a clear plan with each of their patients. Are further tests necessary, if so why, and what will those tests consist of? A GP must then follow up those tests with further review and advice.

GPs are responsible for the acts and omissions when dealing directly with patients but, as they often run a surgery in partnership with others, they also have responsibility for the proper functioning of systems in place. 

Therefore, a failure to provide a follow-up letter or to arrange a test may lead to a GP being found liable for negligence in litigation.

Bringing GP negligence claims

When it comes to negligence claims against doctors, the legal test is the same as other medical professionals – did the GP provide a reasonable standard of care and if not, did that breach of duty cause a patient an injury? If you’re uncertain about whether you have a GP negligence compensation claim, our team can help. Call us on 0808 164 0808 today for your free initial consultation.

Disclaimer

In general you have three years from the date of negligence or reasonable knowledge of mistreatment by a healthcare professional causing you harm to bring a doctor negligence claim. There are some exceptions to this rule for instance where the matter involves a child in which case the child has three years from the date of their 18th birthday to bring a claim, therefore expiring on the individual’s 21st birthday.

It is important to speak to a legal team as early as possible to avoid any issues with limitation dates.