£35,000 compensation for GP delays diagnosing cancer

Delays in a GP diagnosis of carcinoma led to compensation of £35,000 being awarded to a 42 year old man in 2014.

Injury details

The Claimant noticed a small red mark under his eye in 2007. His GP prescribed an anti-fungal cream for an infection.

The man returned to his GP a month later and was prescribed an antibiotic. No follow up appointment was made.

Eight months later two scabs were much more noticeable under the eye. The GP was consulted again. He diagnosed a work related reaction and advised changing jobs. Cream was prescribed and no follow up appointment set.

During the following 18 months the Claimant attended his GP on four further occasions. An infection was diagnosed. Antibiotics and a skin wash were prescribed.

Two months later the man attended the GP again. Drugs to treat an infection were prescribed and advice given that a referral should be made if the problems did not clear in two weeks.

Two months later the Claimant saw his GP again. Chronic conjunctivitis was diagnosed. A referral to an ophthalmologist was made.

A month later the Claimant was seen by a Consultant in Ophthalmology. An urgent biopsy was ordered. The biopsy confirmed a basal cell carcinoma.

The Claimant underwent surgery four months later to remove the growth and to reconstruct the eyelid. The carcinoma was successfully treated.

The delay in diagnosis made surgery necessary. The Claimant was left with a deformity to his eyelid. Earlier diagnosis would have been far less serious.

The Claimant would need further surgery to improve function and appearance of the eye.

He suffered a psychological disorder due to the significant and unexpected stress.

Allegation

The GP was negligent insofar as the delay in referring for specialist opinion caused the problem to become very serious.

Early diagnosis would have caused little or no cosmetic deficit to the eye.

Delays in diagnosis led to the need for surgery. The surgery left permanent disfigurement and reduced eye function.

Conclusion and settlement

Liability was not admitted.

Compensation was offered without admission of fault.

The matter settled without proceeding to Court.

£35,000 in damages was accepted.

Of the damages £30,000 was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."

An additional £5,000 was awarded for future surgery costs.