A woman, who was mistakingly told her melanoma was benign, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement for her suffering.
Joyce Huck, then aged seventy-two from Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire, attended the Bradford Royal Infirmary in February 2013 for the surgical removal of a melanoma on her skin. Joyce was told that the growth was benign and did not pose a risk to her health. However, Joyce was still uncertain concerning the diagnosis and decided to consult her normal GP.
After visiting her GP, Joyce was then sent for further biopsies that confirmed that the melanoma was indeed malignant. In 2015, Joyce had a further operation such that the growth could be removed, with additional samples from her lymph nodes taken to assess if the cancer had metastasised. Fortunately, Joyce was given the all-clear.
After the second surgery, Joyce consulted a medical negligence solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for misdiagnosis compensation against the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In the claim, Joyce alleged that she suffered from unnecessary stress and anxiety after learning that her melanoma was misdiagnosed.
The Trust admitted its failings in care and after negotiations the parties decided upon a five-figure settlement of compensation. Representatives of the NHS Trust additionally apologised for the mistake, saying that it was “deeply sorry” for the stress inflicted upon the family. A spokesman added that “The care we provided fell below our usual high standards and we sincerely apologise to Mrs Huck for this”.
Speaking to her local press after the announcement of the settlement, Joyce commented that “At the time [of being called back to the hospital] I was not told the previous biopsies had been misreported. It was only when I was referred to a plastic surgeon for the growth to be completely removed that I was told the earlier biopsies had also shown cancer. It was shocking to think I’d been living with cancer for so long and it had been left untreated.”