Delays in cancer diagnosis grounds for legal action

09/10/2019

As the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes place, FBC Manby Bowdler’s Head of Personal Injury Tim Gray has spoken out about the worrying rise in the number of cases of a late diagnosis of cancer:

Figures from the charity Cancer Research revealed that almost half of cancer diagnoses are made late with around 12,500 patients in the West Midlands only finding out they have the disease when it is already at stage three or four.

And earlier this year official figures said that in 2017/18 the NHS paid out £655 million compensation for harm and deaths caused by NHS delays (not just relating to cancer) - an increase from £327 million in 2013/14.

Whilst the Government has already pledged to improve the number of people who are diagnosed with early stage cancer from two in four diagnosed early at the moment to three in four by 2028, that’s little comfort for those who have or will be affected by a late diagnosis.

For example, we are pursuing a case for a patient who had attended cervical screening regularly. Despite numerous smear tests, it was later discovered that abnormal cells had been missed resulting in the need for a full hysterectomy. 

At a time when great physical strength is required to deal with cancer or other treatment, you cannot underestimate the effect of a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis on someone’s mental health.
 
If you or a family member has suffered any medical problems or issues, due to professionals missing the signs of cancer or other physical illness, then there could be a claim for medical negligence. 

Tim is an experienced personal injury and clinical negligence lawyer, with more than 20 years experience in this field. He is the Lead Partner within the department and heads up the firm’s clinical negligence team, in addition to managing other high value and complex multi track cases, often involving head and spinal injuries and cases of amputation. He can be contacted on the details below.

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