Out-of-court negotiations between an allegedly negligent doctor and a patient whose cancer was misdiagnosed have resulted in a six-figure settlement of compensation.
The patient, a woman whose anonymity has been preserved throughout proceedings, visited her GP with concerns over a mole on her foot. The mole had recently changed shape and began to irritate the woman, though the GP assured her that it was nothing to worry about and sent her home.
Dissatisfied with the doctor’s conclusion, the woman sought a second opinion from another doctor in the same surgery. The second GP also refused to refer her to a dermatologist, telling her again that the mole was not something with which to concern herself and sent her home. In neither consultation was the size of the mole checked.
The woman was still concerned over the changes she perceived in the growth and visited a third GP. This doctor notified the patient that she would not be able to remove the mole, though offered to take the top off of it. When the patient refused, the GP referred her to a dermatologist at a nearby hospital.
The dermatologist conducted a biopsy and sent part of the mole away for diagnostics. Unfortunately the results came back to say that the mole was cancerous, and the woman underwent emergency surgery to remove the rest of the growth. However, further diagnostics showed that the cancer had metastasised and the woman is currently undergoing treatment for secondary cancers.
Upon receiving the cancer diagnosis, the woman consulted a medical negligence solicitor and proceeded to make a claim against the first GP and their surgery for the misdiagnosis of her cancer. In the claim, she alleged that if the diagnosis had been made in a timely manner her prognosis would be better.
However, both the GP and the surgery contested the claim for compensation, denying that they were involved in medical negligence. Yet once court action was threatened, the insurance company of the two parties settled with the woman for an undisclosed six-figure settlement.