Many people use the same GP for decades and most of them are extremely good at what they do, but even the best GP could potentially be negligent occasionally. This means it’s important to always be vigilant and to seek legal advice if you suspect that your GP is guilty of medical negligence.
GP medical negligence claims – common causes
Amongst the reasons you may be able to bring a medical negligence claim against your general practitioner are:
• Poor record keeping leading to medical errors, such as conditions being missed or not properly acted upon.
• Failure to refer a patient to a specialist following abnormal test results that require further investigation.
• Failure to investigate symptoms or dismissing them as something minor when they are in fact more serious (such as ignoring a chesty cough that is later found to be a symptom of lung cancer).
• Prescribing the wrong drugs or failing to prescribe drugs for a condition.
• Failing to review medication on a regular basis, particularly when that medication and/or the patient in question is known to be high risk.
Most medical negligence claims bought against GPs tend to be focused around either misdiagnosis or prescriptions, so if you have ever experienced any problems around these areas, you may have a case.
GP negligence – even the government thinks it’s far too common
To give you an idea of potentially how many negligent GPs there actually are, in announcing, in October 2012, that annual competency checks are to be produced for all doctors, the Health Secretary confirmed that in a survey carried out with 300 different health bodies, “serious concerns” were raised about 0.7% of the 175,000 GPs nationwide – that’s 1000 doctors about whom the government have real doubts. Click here for more information about the background to the introduction of these annual competency checks for doctors.
Your GP medical negligence claim – don’t delay in getting advice
The law dictates that when making medical negligence claims, you need to do so within three years of becoming aware of the negligence. Therefore if you were unaware anything was medically wrong at the time, but later discovered there was a problem, such as if a serious illness is diagnosed months after your GP failed to investigate minor symptoms, you will still be able to make a medical claim for three years following your discovery.
GP negligence claim? Contact our specialists today
It’s important to get the right legal advice at the earliest opportunity so your medical negligence solicitor can start the ball rolling on your case. Instructing your solicitor as soon as you can will give your claim the best possible chance of succeeding.
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