Missed Cancer Diagnosis Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a missed cancer diagnosis, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the negligence happened. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

NHS statistics reveal that every year as many as 100 cancer patients bring claims against the NHS after being wrongly given the all clear by medical professionals.

Missing a vital cancer diagnosis may mean patients needing more radical therapies to fight the disease. It may also mean that a patient endures unnecessary pain and suffering, and in some cases, the disease may have reached a point where treatment is no longer effective. Recent analysis by Cancer Research UK estimates that more than 50,000 patients every year may have their survival rate cut because of a missed or late diagnosis of their cancer.

What types of cancer are most commonly missed?

A study by the National Patient Safety Agency revealed gynaecological, skin, urological and breast cancers were those most likely to be commonly associated with a missed diagnosis.

The reasons for missed or late diagnosis vary depending on a range of factors, and some cancers are more difficult to identify. Nevertheless, where a cancer patient's standard of care has fallen below the accepted standard and a diagnosis is missed due to a medical professional's negligence, it may be possible to make a clinical negligence compensation claim.

How can a missed diagnosis of cancer happen?

Early symptoms of cancer are not always obvious; therefore, a patient's GP may fail to recognise the key signs. Where the GP fails to identify a potential cancer risk and does not refer his patient for further investigations, the diagnosis may be missed.

Even where a referral to a specialist has been made a diagnosis may be missed through other errors.

These may include:

  • Mixing up tissue samples
  • Losing test results
  • Misinterpretation of scans
  • Failure to act on test results
  • Wrongly giving the "all clear"

What if the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your missed cancer diagnosis. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor